A pair of narrow losses on Friday (Feb. 1) have bounced the Cardinal Newman Cardinals from championship contention at the 43rd Teacher’s Life Silver Fox Invitational.
A first-place team in the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic senior boys’ high school basketball league, the Cardinals fell 55-54 to the Ottawa region’s West Carleton Wolves and 62-60 to Pickering’s Pine Ridge Pumas.
Newman opened the 24-team competition on Thursday with a 57-40 win over the Bishop Reding Royals of Milton.
“It’s never good when you go 0-2 in a day, especially when they’re both close, one-possession losses,” said Newman coach Andrew Sergi. “It was obviously difficult in not having David (McCulloch) today. That makes a huge difference.” A veteran starting guard, McCulloch was sidelined due to a leg injury sustained during a league game only hours before the Silver Fox tip off.
“A bounce here or there and we could have won both games today,” Sergi said. “It’s frustrating because we had expectations of what we could do in this tournament.
Newman trailed 61-58 after Jhavorn Saunders of Pine Ridge connected on the front end of a 1-and-1 with 14.3 seconds remaining. However, the Cardinals blew an opportunity to possibly tie the contest with a three-point shot when they were called for travelling.
Jordan Henry and Chase Vassell tossed in 19 points apiece for the Pumas, who trailed 18-14, 30-26 and 40-39 at the quarter breaks. Marko Grahovac paced the Cardinals attack with 16 points. Tyler Brown added 12 and Anthony Torrisen chipped in with 10.
Against West Carleton, Newman built a 10-point lead but couldn’t hold on. Said Sergi: “I think the first time they took the lead was when they won the game. We didn’t close well. We let them come back. We missed some shots at the free-throw line and made a couple of critical turnovers.”
Brown was the top scorer for Newman with 23 points, while Corey Johnson answered with 25 for the winners.
The three-day tournament continues Saturday with championship semifinals at noon. The Toronto Oakwood Barons face Pine Ridge at Saltfleet while the Ottawa Merivale Marauders tangle with Thornhill’s Thornlea Thunder at Glendale. Winners then meet for the championship at Saltfleet at 6 p.m.
Toronto Oakwood 67 (Dwan Williams 17) Hamilton St. Jean de Brebeuf 47 (Lucas Johnson 12)
Etobicoke Father Henry Carr 60 (Ty Nelson 15), Hamilton St. Thomas More 46 (Joel Clarke 12)
Pickering Pine Ridge 72 (Chase Vassell 14) Hamilton Westmount 70 (Nemanja Ilic 26)
Thornhill Thornlea 69 (Kadeem Smithen 23) Oakville St. Ignatius of Loyola 41 (Trenton Ford , Daryl Jean 9)
Saltfleet District 89 (Dan Patterson 19) Windsor W.F. Herman 67 (Marco Kovac 27)
Milton Bishop Reding 66 (Christian David 19) Dunrobin West Carleton 58 (Corey Johnson 23)
Midland St. Theresa 54 (Jedson Tavemier 15) Kitchener Cameron Heights 61 (Sasha Simic 20)
Ajax J. Clarke Richardson 75 (Tyrell Leotaud 12, Marcus Ottey 12) Chatham Kent 50 (Nick Ladd 15)
Toronto Oakwood 81 (Russell Baker 22) Ottawa Immaculata (Jacques Lukusas 21)
Thornhill Thornlea 59 (Kadeem Smith 16) Kitchener St. Mary’s 49 (Tesloth Simon 25
Pickering Pine Ridge 75 (Chase Vassell 20) Burlington Nelson 63 (Jordan Sobot 23)
Ottawa Merivale 49 (Kevin Metelus 14) Etobicoke Father Henry Carr 42 (Brendan Chevannes 11)
Brantford North Park 53 (Matt Minutillo 14, Jon Dulmage 14) Windsor Herman 50 (Robel Neguess 20)
Midland St. Theresa 41 (Jedson Tavernier 15) Korah (Sault Ste. Marie) 38 (Anthony Iacoe 15)
Dunrobin West Carleton 55 (Corey Johnson 25) Hamilton Cardinal Newman 54 (Tyler Brown 23)
Ajax J. Clarke Richardson 71 (Matt McKail 20) Oakville Holy Trinity 55 (Ignas Brazdeikis 17)
Ottawa Merivale 58 (Shymar Brewster 13) Hamilton St. Thomas More 51 (Cordell Crockett 11)
Hamilton St. Jean de Brebeuf 79 Ottawa Immaculata 71
Toronto Oakwood 63 (Brody Clarke 21) Saltfleet District 50 (Nicola Djogo 13)
Chatham Kent 68 (Dan Peterman 14) Oakville Loyola 61 (Connor Shkimba 23)
Ottawa Merivale 72 (Kevin Meteus 17) Sault Ste. Marie Korah 69 (Anthony Iacoe 24)
Hamilton Westmount 59 (Justin Lenters 15) Milton Bishop Reding 48 (Jordan Brathwaite 13)
Hamilton St. Jean de Brebeuf 55 (Lucas Johnson 16) Brantford North Park 45 (Matt Minutillo 16)
Thornhill Thornlea 49 (Emanuel Shepherd 27) Ajax Clarke Richardson 27 (Marcus Ottey 11)
Pickering Pine Ridge 62 (Jordan Henry 19, Chase Vassell 19) Hamilton Cardinal Newman 60 (Marko Grahovac 16)
Etobicoke Father Henry Carr 84 (Girece Kazumba 22) Kitchener Cameron Heights 63 (Sasha Simic 17)
Burlington Nelson 65 (Filip Vujadinovic 29) Durobin West Carleton 53 (Corey Johnson 17)
Windsor Herman 64 (Shawon Anderson 15) Ottawa Immaculata 59 (Jacques Lukusas 20)
Hamilton St. Thomas More 46 (Jaylen Clarke 22) Midland St. Theresa 41 (Stephen Hayley 10)
Oakville Holy Trinity 61 (Nick Ernest 18) Kitchener St. Mary’s 60 (Jermaine Lyle 16).