Pembroke's Fellowes Falcons suffer a tough opening day at OFSAA's provincial boys AA basketball tournament
Fellowes Falcons Ben Huckabone attempts to block Westview Wilcats' Noel Bailey as they faced off on March 5 during the OFSAA tournament.
The province’s top high school basketball teams have arrived in Pembroke to compete in the 2018 OFSAA Boys’ AA Basketball Championship.
Since Fellowes High School won the tournament bid more than a year ago, the time has come for the school to mark a moment in history as it serves as the first school from Renfrew County to host the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association (OFSAA) basketball tournament.
“This OFSAA championship is not an endeavour of a single person or simply one school. This has been an effort by a variety of people including teachers, administrators, students, business people and community volunteers,” said Pat Childerhose, tournament co-convener and Fellowes coach. “Without the collective effort, OFSAA does not become the special event that it is. We are very fortunate in Pembroke to have a community that values volunteerism for sporting events.”
With a total of 20 senior boys teams – coming from all corners of the province – vying for the championship title, possibilities are wide open as few teams have played each other, or even seen each other.
“Win or lose, enjoy the opportunity to test yourselves against the best competition in the province,” Childerhose encouraged his own team and the 19 visiting teams. “The best of luck to each team.”
The action kicked off Monday morning, with games taking place at Fellowes High School, Valour School and Opeongo High School.
Pembroke’s host team, the Fellowes Falcons, played its first game Monday morning at Opeongo against North York’s Westview Centennial.
By the end of the four quarters, Westview defeated the Falcons 96-63.
“Westview is a very talented team from top to bottom with big bodies to score down low and good shooters on the perimeter,” said Childerhose.
The Falcons’s top scorer was Logan Mahoney who led his team with 25 points. Providing a strong support was Mahoney’s teammate Gavin Davidson who remained aggressive throughout the game and provided strong leadership.
“The boys worked hard all game and didn’t quit when it could have been really easy to have a let down,” said Childerhose.
Later that day, at 5:30 p.m., the Falcons played the second game, but this time on the home court against Mississauga’s Ascension of our Lord. The Falcons put in a strong effort but were ultimately suffered the second loss of the day, 67-55.
Leading the Falcons once again was Mahoney who scored an impressive 23 points by the end of the game.
Mahoney expressed that despite the loss, he greatly enjoyed the challenge of playing against Ascension.
“I think we’re a competitive team here and it’s a great experience to be a part of this tournament,” he said. “The teams are really different from what we’re used to as we’re usually the bigger team on the court but these teams are so much more physical and it’s a real eye-opener.”
In other OFSAA action Monday, Crescent School pummelled Kapuskasing High School 68-11 while NOSSA champion Lasalle Secondary School crushed CVI 74-51. Mother Teresa defeated Ascension of our Lord 54-38, St. Paul High School beat Glenview Park 65-56, St. Francis defeated Francis Libermann 72-63, Corpus Christi beat Miliken Mills 60-58, St. Joseph’s edged St. Ignatius 65-64, Woodroofe defeated Lasalle 76-48, St. Theresa’s outplayed Assumption College 56-48 and Glenview Park beat Anderson 72-62.
The Falcons next game is March 6 at 6:30 p.m. at Opeongo High School – with the opponent yet to be determined.