March 5 Local Sports: Churchill junior hoops; OFSAA wrestling; Pelham Panthers hoops; Welland Tigers hockey; Soccer players needed
BULLDOGS TOP CYCLONE IN SOSSA FINAL
The Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs junior boys basketball team defeated the E.L. Crossley Cyclone 57-54 in the Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association AA final.
The game was a matchup of defending zone champions.
Churchill got off to a strong start, leading 13 at the half with strong play from Monte Evans and Luca Namestnik. In the second half, Crossley quickly cut the deficit to four and which later led to a Cyclone lead by one with under three minutes to play.
With Churchill point guard Alex Ruiz out of the game with foul trouble, first-year guard Mazen Yagubi and first-year forward Brady Pupek stepped up with sound ballhandling and timely rebounding down the stretch to secure a dramatic Churchill win.
The Churchill win was a true team effort, with all players contributed in numerous ways. Head coach Martin Cook was able to send out waves of travel players at a time. The team was comprised of many St. Catharines Rebels, Pelham Panthers and Niagara Tiger players.
Ruiz was a standout throughout the season, running point guard, providing experienced leadership and being the overall scoring leader of the team. Although the team displayed the qualities of a champion from the outset, its watershed moment came with win against a highly talented and athletic Herman Academy of Windsor in one of Canada’s largest junior boys basketball tournaments, the Kawartha Classic. Despite being seeded 15th, the Bulldogs ultimately placed fourth overall in the highly competitive tournament, providing them the confidence for a SOSSA championship run.
On their way to the SOSSA finals, the Bulldogs defeated Eden 70-66 in the zone final and Glendale Secondary 85-54 in the SOSSA semi-finals.
Members of the team, coached by Martin and Wanda Cook were Namestnik, Quinn Johnston, Pupek, Nick Rawsthorne, Owen Cuthbert, Bennett Pisek, Yagubi, Zakariah Ali, David Figueroa, Ruiz, Evans, Nate Rose and Muhjeeb Omar.
OFSAA WRESTLING RESULTS
Eden’s Zubin Gatta struck gold at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations’ wrestling championships in Sault Ste. Marie.
Gatta won the 38-kilogram division by recording a 14-11 decision over Burhan Ahmad of Turner Fenton.
Winning silver medals were Governor Simcoe’s Mia Friesen and Centennial’s Matteo Romano. Friesen lost an 8-6 decision to Makitha Bristol of Maxwell in the 61-kilogram final. Romano lost the boys 51-kilogram final by technical fall to Treye Trotman of A.B. Lucas.
Bringing home bronze medals were Katelyn Romano of Centennial and Brodie Gibson of Thorold. Romano won by technical fall over Zaniq King of St. Francis Xavier in the 47.5-kilogram bronze-medal match. Gibson recorded a 10-6 decision over Aamin Gulacha of Hillfield Strathallan College in the 64-kilogram bronze-medal match
Placing fourth were Samantha Adams of Beamsville and Cassie Corbett of Blessed Trinity. Adams lost the 51-kilogram bronze-medal match by technical fall to Kelyn Young of Mayfield. Corbett lost the 72-kilogram bronze-medal match by technical fall to Inaz Maghsud of Oakridge.
Placing fifth was Brooklyn Brown of Thorold. Brown recorded a 7-4 decision over Francesca LoGreco of Joan of Arc in the 51-kilogram fifth-place match.
Finishing sixth were Olivia Hendriks of Blessed Trinity and Seth Ozog of EL Crossley. Hendriks defaulted the 72-kilogram fifth-place match because of injury. Ozog lost the 72-kilogram fifth-place match by fall to Ryan Fowler of Huron Park.
UNDER-11 PANTHERS PERFECT
The Pelham Panthers under-11 girls basketball team was unbeaten in recent Ontario Basketball League play, defeating the Orillia Lakers (34-27), Toronto Triple Threat (38-23), Toronto Lords (37-27) and Mumba (25-12).
Leading scorers for Pelham were Talia Hultink, Josee Regala, Maude Law and Helena Siolkowsky. Almost every player got on the score sheet over the weekend.
Other key members of the Panthers were: Addison Willms, Emma O’Neil and Elizabeth Steinbach for their tight defence and hustle; Annabelle Scott and Hallie VanNiekerk for their fast feet and hands on steals; and, Kathleen Lowry and Sarah Birrell for their strong help defence in the key.
The Panthers finished the second half of the OBL season with a 5-1 and are now preparing for the Ontario Cup in Windsor on March 27-29.
WELLAND TIGERS HOCKEY
Minor peewee As take two
The Welland 91.7 Giant FM/Country 89 Tigers minor peewee A hockey team was unbeaten in recent playoff action blanking Garden City 3-0 and doubling Dunnville 2-1.
Julian Belcastro, Tanner Cutler and Chace Buti scored against Garden City helping Welland improve to 35-0-4 against Niagara-based teams this season. Riley Caron picked up his seventh shutout of the season while enjoying a relatively easy workload.
Colby Franchetti and Miller Miotto scored for Welland and assists were contributed by Cutler, Miotto, Buti and Mason Risto. Owen Taylor scored for Dunnville with an assist from Aaron Ruigrok.
True to form, the league’s two best goaltenders with eight shutouts apiece, Tim Dolan and Braxton Fleguel, kept the game a low-scoring affair.
Major peewees fall to Stoney Creek
The Stoney Creek Warriors edged the Welland Telus Tigers 3-1 in major peewee A playoff action at Valley Park Arena.
Austin Dredge and Brett Parker each scored and Connor Lane added an empty-net goal as Stoney Creek handed Welland its second loss in Niagara District Peewee Doherty Pool A round-robin play. Jordan Raso accounted for the lone Tigers’ tally on an assist from Dayton Flatt.
TITANS SEEK PLAYERS
The Niagara Falls Titans Girls under-14 soccer team is looking for a few girls born in 2006 to round out its roster. The travel team plays in the Niagara Soccer League. Some playing experience would be great, but a will to work hard and desire to have fun is also needed. Contact coach Eduardo to arrange a tryout. Season begins in May. 289-929-0110.