Four on the floor for Redcoats
It was anything but easy but the Governor Simcoe Redcoats won the Niagara Region High School Athletic Association Zone 4 AAA senior boys basketball championship Tuesday with a 44-40 victory over the Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs Tuesday.
“It was our third time seeing Sir Winston and they’ve kind of chipped away all year long from the first time we played them,” Simcoe coach Shaun Feor said. “I knew it was going to be a tight, grind it out game and that is definitely what happened.”
Leading Simcoe in scoring in the game were Mitch McPherson (16), Matteo Martin (10), Andrew Scott (9), Duncan Beliveau (6), Ethan Thompson (3) and Deryk Burke (2).
Top scorers for the Bulldogs were Yaseen Ali (13), Devontae Edwards (9), Oreoluwa Fowler (5), Barin Alp (4), Connor Johnson (3), Nate Butler (3) and Brendan Barker (3).
“We stuck with the game plan, we keyed in on their better players, tried to make other guys beat us and gave them less desirable shots such as corner threes and contested shots,” Feor said. ‘That worked out.”
Other members of the zone championship team, coached by Feor and Mary Ingribelli, are Joe Fusek, Hayden Zeppetella, Will Jarrett, Lincoln Ross, Danny Lewis and Ryan Segato.
The final was typical of the Redcoats’ season.
“This year has a different feel and look from other Simcoe years,” he said. “We have scratched and clawed for every victory and we are 19-10 going into SOSSA (Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association championships).
“Every victory that we have gained this year has been an absolute grind and we have had a couple of tough losses.”
The squad has tried to build its work ethic and character throughout the year.
“We try to measure our success in February and we achieved what we wanted, but hopefully we are not done,” Feor said.
He couldn’t point to any one turning point during the season but rather a gradual building process.
“We have a majority of our players are Grade 11 and I knew coming into the year that it would be a lot of learning and developing throughout the year.”
Players such as Mitch McPherson, Matteo Martin and Ethan Thompson have been put into the starting lineup or played significant minutes or roles.
“It has been a matter of them learning throughout the year.”
The Grade 11s were aided by outstanding leadership from Grade 12 players Andrew Scott, Deryk Burke and Duncan Beliveau.
With the victory, the Redcoats have now won four straight Zone 4 AAA championships.
“It’s always great making that phone call Arizona to tell Woody (former Simcoe coach Pat Woodburn) and reaching out to (former coach) John Dakin,” Feor said. “While I have been coaching there I have tried to take the things that have already been at the school for many, many years whether it was from (Ken) Walsh, Woodburn, Dakin, (Larry) Miller and (Tom) Grantis. Those were all coaches who believed in program building and developing kids and I take a little bit from each of them.”
Next up for the Redcoats are the SOSSA championships next Thursday at Notre Dame. Governor Simcoe will be in tough in the semifinals as it will play the Zone 1 representative that could be 2019 provincial medalist Saltfleet, Bernie Custis or Sir Allan MacNab.
“I am not sure who we are going to get but whoever it is I am sure they are going to be tough as nails,” Feor said.