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Motivated Knights secure a NOSSA basketball banner
2024-02-27
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Sporting a banged up roster much of the year, the Lo-Ellen Park Knights senior boys’ basketball team knew that a week off between the city finals and NOSSA was only going to help their walking wounded.

The extra few days that were tacked on after the Knights were upset 59-58 in the SDSSAA semi-final by the Lockerby Vikings might not have offered a whole lot of extra rest for some of the injured lads – but it went a long way in helping Lo-Ellen claim the NOSSA “AA/AAA” championship Saturday with a 67-63 win over the Lasalle Lancers.

“Coming off that loss to Lockerby, we were super motivated for this banner, especially with our full roster playing,” noted 17 year old Adam Scott, draining 18 points just ten days after making a return from a month-long absence, looking to assist his team’s playoff run while nowhere near 100% yet (according to head coach Mac Bertrand).

And while that still might apply for big man Kalev Timusk, there was no denying the contributions right across the roster in a game that came right down to the wire.

“We had to rebound well – that was probably the biggest key – and playing good defense, for sure,” said Scott, who was joined by Quin Mazzuchin (22 pts) and Mateo Volpini (11) atop the Knights’ scoring parade.

Tyrone Johnson was the top scorer for Lasalle with 25 points, followed by Damien Quevillon with 15. The output by Adam Scott included a pair of key free throws after Lasalle netted back to back threes to shave an eight point deficit down to just two in the dying minutes of play.

“You just try and stay in the present, knowing I’ve practiced those free throws hundreds of times,” said Scott. “It’s nothing different. Just step up and knock down the shots.”

The best news, from a local perspective, is that both Lo-Ellen and Lasalle will make their way to OFSAA next week, the former in Ottawa for the AA event and the latter heading to Stoney Creek, site of the AAA tournament.

The Lo-Ellen team features Marco Cecchetto, Jacob Clarke, Hunter Laplante, Ansh Patel, Brayden Legendre, Joel Ankomah, Will Church and Shiloh Sauvé, as well as Adam Scott, Quin Mazzuchin, Mateo Volpini and Kalev Timusk while Lasalle will send the following crew to the all-Ontario event: Dash Kamal, Derrick Idehen, Ashton Eadie-Chartrand, Zidain Allen, Chad Tullio, Nathan Borieo, Sylas Asare-Corviere, Liam Velkovski, Logan Akkanen, Caleb Woods, Ethan Lalonde and Etah McCandless, as well as Tyrone Johnson and Damien Quevillon.

Following a pair of drama-filled semi-finals, the junior boys AA/AAA title was claimed by the Chippewa Raiders thanks to a 50-41 victory over the West Ferris Trojans in an all North Bay tilt. The Raiders advanced after trimming Lo-Ellen 58-55 while the Trojans needed a 60-55 nail-biter over Lasalle to book their berth in the penultimate game of the weekend.

The SDSSAA basketball crew would claim two more banners on the weekend as the St Benedict Bears bounced the Espanola Spartans 65-35 in the junior A contest while the Hanmer Sabres downed W.C. Eaket 67-51 in the “B” gold medal affair.

A nicely distributed Sabres' attack featured timely contributions from Gabriel Riutta (18), Kaleb Dupuis (15), Félix Aubin (14) and Brady Soucy (11).

Hanmer Sabres - senior boys basketball: remaining roster - Cole Gauthier, Jeremy Babe-Lavoie, Simon Riutta, Ayden Courtemanche, Keelan Donnelly, Shawn Chiasson, Mika Giroux and head coach Denis Lessard

St Benedict Bears - junior boys basketball: Holden Beange, Mateo Bedoya, Sullivan Smith, Michael Folino, Matthew Gedye, Bradley Cothill, Sam Julius, Chami Nyabeze, Dylan Nelson, Ajani Rubic, Keegan Adair and Ethan Uloghobui, as well as head coach Ben Smith.

The senior A matchup would go the way of the White Pines Wolverines from Sault Ste Marie, upending the Lockerby Vikings 77-58, the Vikings having clipped the Elliot Lake Atoms 61-57 in semi-final play.

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