Volume 12 Week 5

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Senior Boys Basketball
Louis Rebelles Rebelles advance to city championship, Knights fall short
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Emmanuel Bolamba penetrates along the baseline during the Louis Riel Rebelles 52-50 win over the Earl of March Lions on Thursday. Fred Sherwin/Photo


 

The Louis Riel Rebelles punched their ticket to the NCSSAA senior boys basketball championship next week by beating the Earl of March Lions 52-50 on Thursday, and in the process they earned a berth in the Quad-A provincial championships being held in Ottawa next month.

But before they start preparing for the provincial championships they must first set their sights on the St. Patrick Irish and a possible city championship.

The Irish made a late comeback against the St. Peter Knights in Thusday's other semi-final after the Knights made a comeback of their own to take a one point lead with three minutes left in the game. In the end, the Irish prevailed 72-61 to capture one of the two spots in the Quad-A OFSAA tournament and advance to the AAA/AAAA city championship.

With both the Irish and the Rebelles expected to stay close to home and opt to play in the Quad-A provincial championship, the Knights and the Lions will likely have to battle it out to see who gets to go to the AAA championship which is being played in Windsor.

The St. Matthew Tigers are a game away from earning a berth in the OFSAA AA championships in St. Catherines. They’ll face the Immaculata Saints in the city championship next Tuesday at Carleton University.

Getting back to the Rebelles, before the can start practicing for the provincial championship they must first take on the formidable Irish, a team they’ve managed to beat twice before as the underdog.

According to head coach Jean-Guy Morin, the Rebelles are still the underdogs, and beating the Irish three times in a row will be a formidable challenge.

“They’re the favourites there’s no question,” Morin said after his team squeaked by the Lions 52-50. “But, hopefully, we’ll give them all they can handle.”

The Rebelles trailed the Lions, a team they had lost to in their only other meeting earlier this season, 31-23 at the half.

Ali Ahmed’s three baskets in the third quarter helped Louis Riel reduce the deficit to just two points. Emmanuel Bolamba then hit a deuce to complete the comeback early in the fourth quarter and before long they were up by four, leading 45-41.

The feisty Lions managed to draw even in the final minute, but a lay-up in traffic by Raphael Riche with three seconds left put the game out of reach.

Christian Kadima scored a team high 13 points and was five-for-six from the free throw line. Bolamba and Maher Fayer had 12 points each and Riche had eight.

Morin says his team has the talent to beat St. Pat’s, but they’ve been limited in their ability to practice. Louis-Riel is a sports school with only the one gym and gym time is limited.

“We should be able to get one or two practices in. Hopefully, that will be enough,” said Morin.

(Posted 9:30 a.m., Feb. 17)

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