Irish and Reds advance to championship quarter-finals
Notre Dame basketball coach Cedric Kasongo is looking for big things this season from Owen Phillips.
The Grade 12 guard didn’t disappoint Wednesday as he netted 21 points to lead the Fighting Irish to a 90-42 win over the Governor Simcoe Redcoats in the opening-round action of the 66th Annual Welland Tribune Basketball Tournament at Notre Dame.
“He is one of our leaders. He is a guy that we rely on,” Kasongo said. “He is young guy and a good player who is poised and just trying to show himself for the next level. We are riding on him this whole season.”
The 17-year-old is more than happy to take on a leadership role with Notre Dame.
“I feel that my teammates listen to me and if I can get them all hyped up for a game and get them energetic we can come out and win.”
The Newman Youth travel player has grown into a leadership role in high school.
“Last year I was more of a role player because I was younger than everyone else but then as last year went on with Jayson Madume’s injury, I started taking more of a leadership role. This year I have become even more of a leader.”
He would like to continue on with basketball after Notre Dame.
“I am hoping to play at the next level. I have to keep working so I can get better and better and play even better at the next level.”
Phillips is thrilled to be playing in the Tribune basketball tournament after a two-year absence because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I enjoyed watching it when I was in Grade 9 and 10 and I was really excited to end up playing in the tournament,” the six footer said. “It was really bad to lose two years. I really love playing basketball and it was hard to lose two years of my high school career.”
Notre Dame made up for lost time Wednesday.
“It is always good to start the tournament with a win. I think the boys played alright today but there are still some things that we have to fix up a little bit,” Kasongo said. “It was great to get a win for the home crowd.”
The Irish buried the Redcoats with a ton of made threes.
“They’ve been in the gym. They have been putting the work in and credit to them for doing it,” he said.
The Redcoats fell behind 19-0 to open the game and never recovered.
“It was a slow start but we played pretty well after that,” Simcoe assistant coach Dave Patterson said. “Our offence was OK but they shot a lot of threes and they made them. You can’t beat that and they are a tough team.”
The Redcoats are still looking for their first win of the season.
“We are struggling but we are trying the best we can,” Patterson said.
He is looking forward to the consolation side of the draw.
“Hopefully we can play better our next game.”
Fighting Irish 90 Redcoats 42
Mountainview Building Group Players of the Game: Notre Dame’s Owen Phillips and Simcoe’s Malcolm Perrin.
For the Notre Dame Fighting Irish: Adam Ponting 27; Owen Phillips 21; Nicholas Capretta 13; Andrew Benko 10; Michael Ventresca 8; Kevin Schweyer 6; Ryan Gelinas 3; Rylan Lauder 2;
For the Governor Simcoe Redcoats: Malcolm Perrin 14; Lochlan Belliveau 8; Artem Trusevich 8; Anderson Blanchard 5; Robert Muir 4; MJ Brophy 3.
REDS 48 RAIDERS 36
Player of the game Josh Kaufman scored 16 points to lead the Denis Morris Reds to a 48-36 victory over the Holy Cross Raiders Wednesday at Brebeuf in opening-round play of the Tribune tournament.
Also scoring for the Reds were: Nate Sansaet 11; Michael Ukiomogbe 6; Max Barnowski 6; Cam Hastings 3; Will Hastings 2; Robert Konkle 2; and, Carson Mechelse 2.
Dwayne Osbourne netted nine points to earn player of the game honours for the Raiders.
Also scoring for Holy Cross were: Lucas Muon 16; Owen Bradford-Andrew 8; Arin Sayegh 2; and, Greg Wenglowski 1.