Cham­pi­onship ac­tion for seven area high schools

Provin­cial brag­ging rights on the line for high school vol­ley­ball, bas­ket­ball teams

Windsor Star - - FRONT PAGE - JIM PARKER jp­parker@post­ twit­­starparker

The busiest provin­cial high school cham­pi­onship sea­son is set to get un­der­way on Mon­day. A to­tal of eight OFSAA cham­pi­onships will be con­tested across the prov­ince, and that in­cludes a lo­cal touch, with the Gen­eral Amherst Bull­dogs host­ing the girls’ AA vol­ley­ball cham­pi­onship in Amher­st­burg and Wind­sor.

Seven area schools have qual­i­fied for On­tario cham­pi­onships in bas­ket­ball or vol­ley­ball, while an­other 25 ath­letes are headed to Ot­tawa for the provin­cial wrestling cham­pi­onships, and more than 100 will hit the pool at the Pan Am Sports Cen­tre in Toronto for the swim­ming fi­nals.


The Bull­dogs qual­i­fied au­to­mat­i­cally as the host team, but still won the SWOSSAA ti­tle. That opened the door for the Es­sex Red Raiders to chal­lenge for the sec­ond en­try and a 3-0 sweep of Chatham Mc­Gre­gor earned the club the sec­ond seed. The 20-team tour­na­ment will fea­ture four pools for round robin play on three courts at the St. Clair Col­lege Sport­sPlex, as well as the Gen­eral Amherst gym. “Our goal is to fin­ish top two in our pool and hope­fully ad­vance to the cham­pi­onship quar­ters,” Gen­eral Amherst head coach Jeff Miller said.

The squad re­lies on its four out­side hit­ters in Byn­lee Am­monite, Emery Lucier, Emma MacVoy and Vanessa Pidutti, who is the only Grade 12 stu­dent. Gen­eral Amherst opens the OFSAA tour­ney on Mon­day at 9 a.m. against No. 16 Fort Frances and will also face No. 11 Lon­don Mother Teresa at noon and No. 1 Burling­ton Cor­pus Christi at 3 p.m. All three games are at the Sport­sPlex. The lo­cal team closes pool play on Tues­day at Gen­eral Amherst against No. 20 Cite des Je­unes from Ka­puskas­ing. The Red Raiders are seeded 15th for the event, but head coach Josh Mul­doon says his team could sur­prise a few squads. “Un­for­tu­nately, we’ve been plagued by in­juries this sea­son and haven’t been able to put to­gether a great record for the OFSAA com­mit­tee,” Mul­doon said. “Now that our team is healthy, I ex­pect a strong show­ing.”

Es­sex will lean on out­side hit­ter Brooke Sal­ter and mid­dles Ju­lia Incitti and Kim Or­ton to lead the at­tack.

Es­sex will play all four of its pool games at the Sport­sPlex. The Red Raiders open Mon­day at 9 a.m. against No. 5. Fonthill E.L. Cross­ley, face No. 2 North Bay Wid­di­field at noon, then No. 18 Toronto Bishop Marocco/Thomas Mer­ton, be­fore clos­ing pool play on Tues­day against No. 12 Thorn­hill Thorn­lea at 11:30 a.m.


The Kennedy Clip­pers carry the area’s hopes head­ing to OFSAA.

Af­ter host­ing the AAA cham­pi­onship a year ago, the Clip­pers are the No. 1 seed at the AA boys’ bas­ket­ball cham­pi­onship in Tim­mins.

“Happy with the seed­ing, but we need to per­form at a high level,” Clip­pers head coach Pat Os­borne said.

Kennedy will rely heav­ily on se­niors D.J. Si­monato, Akot Aken and Gatluak James in the tour­na­ment. They open on Mon­day at 9:30 a.m. against No. 19 Brockville Thou­sand Is­lands.

“At this stage of the game, seed­ing means lit­tle if you’re not ready to play against any of these teams,” Os­borne said.


A Vil­lanova Wild­cats SWOSSAA ti­tle car­ried lit­tle weight with the rank­ings com­mit­tee. The Wild­cats are the No. 17 seed at the AAA girls’ vol­ley­ball cham­pi­onship in Burling­ton. “Based on what we have seen at pre­vi­ous tour­na­ments, we know the level of com­pe­ti­tion will be high,” Wild­cats coach An­gela La­porta said.

Vil­lanova will count on first­team all-city libero Meaghan Trot­ter along with set­ter Emily Tracey and right side Bren­nah Win­ter­burn. Mid­dle Chantel Kelly and left side An­gelina Kir­in­cic will also fac­tor in the team’s suc­cess.

The Wild­cats open play on Mon­day against No. 4 Iro­quois Ridge and then take on No. 10 Hamil­ton West­dale. The team closes pool play on Tues­day against No. 4 North York Haver­gal and No. 7 Scar­bor­ough Sir Oliver Mowat. Vil­lanova must fin­ish top two in pool play to ad­vance to the quar­ter-fi­nals.


The Holy Names Knights are the No. 11 seed head­ing into the OFSAA boys’ AAA bas­ket­ball cham­pi­onship. They drew No. 1 Ajax Pine Ridge for the team’s first game on Mon­day.

“The first one doesn’t sink you, you can still get to the medal round. It just makes your road a lit­tle harder,” Knights head coach Kyle Kane said.

The Knights com­piled a 25-5 record this sea­son and found suc­cess pres­sur­ing the ball. Guard An­dre Familia was sec­ond in the vot­ing for Mr. Bas­ket­ball, while guards Mehkai Bar­nett and Galdo Tutu were both all-stars. Guard Rodi Ma­zloum can also spark the of­fence and de­fence.


Af­ter host­ing last year’s event, the Laje­unesse Roy­als hit the road for this year’s OFSAA girls’ A vol­ley­ball cham­pi­onship tour­na­ment in Kenora.

“We’ve been work­ing hard all sea­son to be ready for this high level of com­pe­ti­tion,” Roy­als head coach So­nia Lapierre said. “I’m hop­ing we play the best Laje­unesse vol­ley­ball pos­si­ble, one team at a time, and leave it all on the court.”

Mid­dle Me­gan Gahima can dom­i­nate on of­fence and de­fence, while the Roy­als will also look for strong play from set­ter Kaitlin Car­son. Laje­unesse is the No. 14 seed and opens on Mon­day against No. 3. St. Marys District Col­le­giate at 9:30 a.m. Next they face No. 8 Rich­mond Hill Holy Trin­ity be­fore clos­ing out pool play on Tues­day against No. 9 Durham Chris­tian. The club needs a top-two fin­ish in pool play to ad­vance to the quar­ter-fi­nals.

“We have a great group of very ded­i­cated and hard-work­ing stu­dent ath­letes,” Lapierre said.


Af­ter end­ing a three-year ti­tle run by Laje­unesse, the Lamothe-Cadil­lac Fal­cons hit the road to beat Blen­heim for the SWOSSAA ti­tle and earn a spot at the OFSAA cham­pi­onship. How­ever, the Fal­cons drew the No. 1-ranked team in Tim­mins O’Gor­man to open the boys’ A bas­ket­ball cham­pi­onship on Mon­day in Lon­don.

“Our play­ers have a great at­ti­tude when it comes to fac­ing ad­ver­sity, and af­ter three years, we now have the ex­pe­ri­ence to han­dle teams that have a great pro­gram in place,” Fal­cons man­ager Rene Guevre­mont said. The Fal­cons will lean on guard Kadar Ibrahim along with small for­ward Lukens Laborde.


Gatluak James, seen hur­dling a Bren­nan de­fender dur­ing re­cent ac­tion, will be a key per­former for the Kennedy Clip­pers start­ing Mon­day at the OFSAA AA bas­ket­ball tour­na­ment in Tim­mins.

The No. 1 ranked Kennedy Clip­pers will lean heav­ily in D.J. Si­monato at the On­tario high school AA boys’ bas­ket­ball cham­pi­onships in Tim­mins.

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