The young guns on the senior boys’ basketball team at St. Jean de Brebeuf Catholic Secondary School are starting to make some noise.
The Brebeuf Braves won two games Friday (Dec. 13) at the 35th-annual Chancellor tournament to qualify for the championship semi-finals. The Braves will face their Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association rivals, the St. Thomas More Knights, on Saturday at noon at the More gym. The other semi-final, at 1:30 p.m., matches Hamilton’s Cardinal Newman Cardinals against the Holy Trinity Titans of Oakville.
Sixteen teams are entered in the competition with the consolation final and final scheduled for 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., respectively, at More.
Brebeuf won the HWCAA junior league title last season. They chalked up a 30-3 overall record at that time and were ranked fifth best in Ontario. And moving up to the senior ranks, the Braves currently have a 4-1 record in league play.
“At the beginning, I thought we had a young team and this might be a building year for us,” Brebeuf coach Perry Bruzzese said. “But I’m looking at how these guys are rising to the occasion. They’ve really stepped up. Newman and Cathedral are the teams to beat, but I think we’ll make some noise down the stretch.”
Brebeuf trailed by six points with 32 seconds remaining. However, a defensive rebound, a steal, a charging call against Westmount and back-to-back three-point baskets by guard Rommel Calura forced an extra four-minute period.
In overtime, Calura drained all eight of his free-throw opportunities. He also grabbed a defensive rebound with nine seconds left and was fouled before sinking his final two from the charity stripe. That made the final score 68-65.
“We finished the game with five Grade 11s on the floor,” Bruzzese said.
Calura ended up with 27 points, while teammate Justin Dipietro netted 13. For Westmount, top-ranked in the Hamilton public league for the past two seasons, centre Justin Lenters tossed in 25 points. Amanjot Nannar added 13.
The only concern for Bruzzese is in the rebounding department. “They’re watching the ball instead of making contact with the man and boxing out,” he said. “We’ve got to get better at that.”
Brebeuf won its opener, 74-56, over the Oakville Loyola Hawks.
Cardinal Newman, the defending champions, topped Toronto Father Redmond, 68-44, and then blasted London Banting, 51-25.
The host St. Thomas More Knights defeated the St. Catharines Governor Simcoe Redcoats, 58-50, and Burlington’s Corpus Christi Longhorns, 54-47.
Holy Trinity got past London Westminster, 62-46, and Niagara Falls St. Paul, 63-41.
Consolation semis take place at Bishop Tonnos Catholic Secondary School. Those games feature Loyola against Burlington Corpus Christi at noon and Father Redmond versus the Bishop Tonnos Titans at 1:30 p.m.
Game 1 – Hamilton Westmount 77 (Amanjot Nannar 30, Justin Lenters 15) London Montcalm 59 (Tyrel Hilts 28, Said Samajic 18)
Game 2 – Brebeuf 74 (Nathan Bruzzese 14, Jan Fajardo 11) Oakville Loyola 56 (Christian Critelli 17, Stefan Rajacic 9)
Game 3 – London Banting 37 (Micah Kirubel 17, Mati Sherzay 15) Burlington Notre Dame 34 (Willy Paul 13, Aiden Bull 13)
Game 4 – Stoney Creek Cardinal Newman 68 (David McCulloch 14, Marko Grahovac 14) Toronto Father Redmond 44 (Manuel Tandoc 13, Josip Vrankic 11)
Game 5 – St. Catharines Governor Simcoe 71 (Hayden Starc 24, Ben Whitty 15) Sarnia Northern 49 (Cam Dietzel 13, Kobe Lundy 10)
Game 6 – Oakville Holy Trinity 62 (Ignas Brazdeikis 15, Nigel Goodridge 14) London Westminster 46 (Anthony Limsana 14, Luoel Gebru 12)
Game 7 – Hamilton St. Thomas More 54 (Jaylen Clarke 13, Xavier Ellis 10) Burlington Corpus Christi 47 (Mfiondu Kabengele 15, Simisola Shittu 15)
Game 8 – Niagara Falls St. Paul 57 (Reece Fisher 17, Zak Bickell 9) Ancaster Bishop Tonnos 44 (Adam Carnicelli 10, Maciek Wojciki 9)
Corpus Christi 65 (Malik Richards 22, Sim Singh 15) Sarnia Northern 50 (Cam Dietzel 16, Sam Fairbairn 14)
St. Thomas More 58 (Ryan Doornick 14, Osayi Igniuam 12) Governor Simcoe 50 (Josh Applin 14, Ben Whitty 14)
Bishop Tonnos 51 (Adam Carnicelli 16, Mevin Mathew 11) Westminster 45 (Moe Elinwairi 10, Paul Miller 9)
Holy Trinity 63 (Ignas Brazdeikis 14, Shamiel Stevenson 12) St. Paul 41 (Reece Fisher 12, Zak Bickell 8).
Loyola 69 (Alex Traymor 17, Sean Stewart 8) Montcalm 58 (Said Smajic 13, Harris Zeljikovic 10)
Toronto Father Redmond 54 (John Vilarosa 6) Burlington Notre Dame 40 (Willy Paul 9, Angelo Cutaia 8)
St. Jean de Brebeuf 68 (Rommel Calura 27, Justin Dipietro 13) Westmount 65 (Justin Lenters 28, Amanjot Nannar 13)
Cardinal Newman 51 (David McCulloch 24, Tyler Brown 14) Banting 25 (Micah Kirubel 15).