John Paul II edges the Central Elgin Titans, 48-45, in a clash of undefeated teams
in the WOSSAA AA senior boys' basketball gold medal game
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
LONDON, ON. - A battle for a spot at OFSAA.
The London John Paul II Jaguars, undefeated through the District season and Central Elgin Titans, perfect in the South-East, with a 9-0 record.
Outside of two occasions the difference between the combatants no more than five points throughout the 32 minute contest.
As the final buzzer sounded, the Jaguars squeezed by the Titans, 48-45, in the WOSSAA AA senior boys basketball final, at South Collegiate.
"You always hate to lose those games, but they're fun to coach and fun to watch," Titans' coach Johnny Rice said. "It was good to see the kids play as well as they did for the most part. If a few more of our shots go in, it's a different game, but that's basketball."
Tied at 42 with under three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Titans had a few mental lapses.
"You always preach about little things all year long and it happened at the end. We didn't box out on a free throw and they got the ball back and we were forced to foul again," Rice said. "If it had gone the other way, I'd like to think we would have came down and scored. It's the little things that hurt."
The Titans faced the game's biggest deficit, 9-0, in the opening minutes of the match, before climbing out and holding a 15-13 lead heading into the second quarter.
"We didn't shoot well. We were all a little nervous," Rice said. "I said during our time out, we had three turnovers and we broke their press, it could easily be 9-6 instead of 9-0. After that the butterflies got out and we got back on track."
A 30 second spurt producing five points allowed the Jaguars to grab a 26-22 lead at recess.
"They would turned the ball over and we would score and then we would turn the ball over right back," Rice said. "We couldn't gather our selves to put a few good possessions together to give us that buffer."
Jack Tunstill led the Titans with 19 points, while Devin Carvery had 12 points and Isaiah MacDougall, nine.
Brendon Mudge had 17 points for the Jags and Emmanuel Akot, 15.
The Titans improved since a lop-sided loss to the Jaguars at a tournament held at Western University during the Christmas break.
"That was definitely a big difference from the first time we played them. At the Purple and White, they (Jags) blew us out by about 25. This time we gave them a run for their money that's for sure."
OFSAA is March 9-11th, in Windsor.
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