Loyola Hawks Earn OFSAA Birth With Win Over Cathedral Gaels
Published by Drew Ebanks on March 1, 2011
Outside of St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Secondary School’s exterior there’s a lot of construction/renovation going on but inside the school gym on Monday, February 28th, 2011, the Sr. Boys’ basketball team needed no fixing because they were flying on all cylinders from the opening tip off in their game against Cathedral! Loyola star PG, Mike L’Africain, got into rhythm early with precision ball handling and shooting, draining 2 threes en route to 6 first quarter points as Loyola led it 22-15 after the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Cathedral didn’t help their cause by turning the ball over on 3 or 4 occasions, one time leading to a huge 2-handed tomahawk cram by Rohan Boney. The Hawks’ 7 point 1st quarter lead quickly became 16 and the Gaels coach, trying to keep his team from folding told his team to forget about the mistakes and who made them, as frustration grew from the Hamilton squad.
That scolding seemed to help, as they rallied to close out the half as only having a diminutive deficit, but feisty and talented PG Neil Santos drained a three at the buzzer to make it a 10 point game at the half, 39-29 Loyola. Boney had 16 to lead all scorers. L’Africain poured in 11 (including three 3-pointers) and Adam Presutti had a quiet 4pts. Santos had 11 at the break for Cathedral.
The Hawks turned up the D in the third quarter as Boney viciously rejected Elliot Ormand’s shot leading to a Loyola breakout and three by L’Africain. At the 4 minute mark the Loyola whirlwind, led by their defense, put the contest away as Boney blocked another shot that led to a beautiful Presutti spinning layup. Boney then got away for a monster breakaway dunk, hit a three, and Presutti finished another layup to make it 62-42 Loyola. They led it 64-45 after 3.
Although Santos made an amazing transition layup plus the foul for Cathedral in the fourth quarter, the game was well over. He finished with a team-high 18pts. The Hawks were led by Boney’s game-high tying 21 pts while L’Africain also hit for 21 pts including 5 threes. McMaster bound Presutti had 13 points in the 84-58 win for Loyola.
Loyola will play Holy Trinity(defeated St. Thomas More in other GHAC play-in) Tuesday March 1st in the same gym for the GHAC (Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference) title. Both teams qualified for OFSAA with their wins. The game is for all intents and purposes, is for bragging rights only but L’Africain doesn’t see it that way. He was suspended from school when his Hawks beat Holy Trinity for the Halton title almost a week ago. “I know for me it’s important ’cause I had to sit out the finals and it’s against the same team we beat so I wanna go in and make sure we do the exact same thing two times in a row.”
Notes: Loyola Head Coach Gary Laurin said the keys for the Hawks were ball movement in transition and not letting Cathedral set up their defense. He also was happy with his team’s solid defense as well. He had this to say about the departing seniors L’Africain and Presutti “Michael and Adam have been our cornerstones for the last 5 years and they’ve been together playing about 150 games or so in the last 3 years”.
He’s also happy Presutti chose McMaster as he can go up there to Hamilton easily any weekend to see him play.