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High School Basketball
St. Matt's one win away from high school basketball supremacy
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Forty-four and one more. If the St. Matthew Tigers had a motto for the 2008-2009 high school basketball season that would be it as the Tigers are just one win away from capturing the OFSAA 'AAA' championship and finishing the season with a near perfect 45-1 record.

The Tigers have advanced to tonight's gold medal game at Lisgar Collegiate thanks to a 57-50 win over the Martingrove Bears in this morning's semi-final.

Tyson Hinz led the way for the Tigers with a phenomenal second half in which he went 8-for-9 from the field, hauled down four rebounds and had a free throw and a steal before fouling out of the game with 35 seconds left on the clock.

It was a far cry from his performance in the first half of the game when he only made one shot in six attempts. In fact, the entire Tigers team had a poor first two quarters, shooting a dismal 28 per cent from the field.

They also had trouble containing the Bears star guard Matthew Taylor (35) who was 4-for-9 in the first half and a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Troy McDonald (13) also pitched in with a pair of baskets and two free throws to help give the Etobicoke area school a 28-18 lead at the half.

During the break, coaches Jason Wren and Will Hinz told the Tigers they needed to get the ball inside the paint to their two big men Hinz and Garnet Blais and let them do what they do best, which is score points.

Whatever they said the team listened as they came out from the dressing room immediately started to push the ball inside. Hinz reeled off six straight baskets and Scott Ring, who had only taken two shots in the first half nailed a pair of three point shots to put the Tigers in front 34-32 midway through the third quarter.

From there the two teams duked it out, matching each other basket for basket through to the fourth quarter.

The Tigers managed to extend their lead to four points early in the fourth on a three point play by Hinz and a trey from Kyle Ring, but the Bears fought back with a basket from Mohamed Mohamed (00) and trey from Taylor to go back up 46-45.

With a little under a minute to go it was still a two point game with the Tigers ahead 50-48, when Scott Ring made two huge free throws to make it a four point game. The Bears had a chance to narrow the deficit to one when Hinz fouled out of the game, putting Justin Bakuteka (4) on the line, but Bakuteka couldn't convert the three point play and Blais hauled down the huge rebound on the missed free throw to start the play in the other direction.

On the Tigers ensuing possession, Gavin Resch got fouled on the play and made the first shot of the bonus to giver St. Matt's a three point lead with 28 seconds left on the clock.

As the Bears came down the floor they got the ball into the hands of Wright who launched a three-point attempt that rang off the rim and into the hands of Resch who immediately dished it off to Scott Ring.

With time of the essence, the Bears had no choice but to foul Ring and put him on the line. The point guard and co-captain coolly made both his free throws to give St. Matt's a five point lead and put the game out of reach.

After the game, an elated Hinz said he knew he had to step his game up in the second half if the Tigers wanted to extend their season one more game.

"As one of the captains I definitely felt some responsibility. I didn't want to let the team down," said Hinz. "To get this far and not make it into the final, we had to find a way to gut it out."

After going 0-for-2 in the first half and racking up three personal fouls trying to guard Wright, Scott Ring also stepped up his game in the second half by going 6-for-6 from the free throw line and 2-2 from three point land.

After the game Tigers head coach Jason Wren shared what he and Will Hinz told their players at the break.

"We just reminded them that had been down by 10 points before and had come back and how about giving the ball to the guys who normally score 40 points a game between them and they listened to us," said Wren who was already looking forward to tonight's big game which will be against Emery Collegiate from North York. The sixth seeded Eagles upset the the number two seed Vaughan Voyageurs 62-57 in this morning's other semifinal

"I'm just thrilled to be able to represent Ottawa at OFSAA and make it through to the final. It's so rare to get a chance to go to OFSAA and to get to play in OFSAA in your home town is even rarer. I'm looking forward to coming in here tonight with the gym packed with a partisan crowd. It should be fun."

Tip-off tonight is at 8 p.m. at Lisgar Collegiate. The final will be preceded by the bronze medal game between Martingrove and Vaughan which will get underway at 6 p.m.

St. Matthew Tigers
FG
3-PT
FT
REB
A
S
BLK

PTS

Tyson Hinz
9-15
0
2-3
6
1
0
0
20
Scott Ring
2-4
2
6-6
2
1
0
0
12
Garnet Blais
4-10
0
2-4
5
1
0
1
10
Kyle Ring
3-9
2
0-0
1
0
0
0
8
Gavin Resch
2-8
2
1-1
1
0
0
0
7
Jeremy
Leonard-Smith
0-4
0
0-0
4
2
1
0
0
Team totals
20-50
6
11-14
19
5
1
1
57

Martingrove Bears
FG
3-PT
FT
REB
A
S
BLK

PTS

Matthew Wright
8-19
1
12-12
6
1
1
0
29
Troy McDonald
3-4
0
2-2
0
0
0
0
8
Justin Bakuteka
3-4
0
1-3
0
0
0
0
7
Mohamed Mohamed
2-4
0
0-0
4
0
0
0
4
Stevan Manojlovic
2-10
0
0-0
3
0
0
0
4
Dujoun Brown
0-1
0
0-0
1
0
0
0
0
Team totals
18-42
1
15-17
14
1
1
0
52

(Posted 2 p.m., March 11)

 

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