E-Commerce hungers for South Region title

Saints down Bulldogs 59-52 in hard fought quarter-final match

The basketball court at Western Tech was alive and on fire as Eastern Commerce Saints battled Jarvis Bulldogs in the South Region semifinals Feb. 9.

Pulling out a 59-52 victory over a hungry Bulldogs troupe in senior boys basketball, coach Dan Mascalidis said his team’s hard work in practice paid great dividends on the hardwood.

“We’ve had a lot of really good practices so the intensity level was really good leading up to this and it showed,” he said.

Throughout the season the Saints had trouble from the free-throw line, so Mascalidis said they worked out those kinks in the days leading up to their semifinal match.

“Foul shooting, which has been our Achilles heel this year, really stepped up this game, which is what we’re going to need,” he said. “We lost a couple of games with our foul shooting. They cleaned that up big time.”

The draining freebies wasn’t what fazed the Bulldogs. Coach Mohit Dayaram said it was E-Comm’s solid defence that had his crew addled.

“Their pressure kind of frazzled my guys in the beginning of the game,” he said. “We couldn’t run our plays properly because we were being pressured pretty well.

“I think in the second half we did a better job of handling that, by the same token we were just missing shots, missing defensive assignments, our rotations.”

It showed as Jarvis narrowed the gap between them and the Saints, and at one point shooting ahead by a basket.

The Bulldogs had every intention of winning as a rebound dunk by Aaron Shadrach gave the team a morale boost in the first.

Still it was short lived.

“It was one of those type of things where I knew Eastern Commerce was going to come out hard regardless of what we were going to do,” he said. “They’re very good about keeping their composure and not worrying about going down by 10 or two.”

Working hard at point guard was the Saints Denzel Brooks, who was under constant pressure. At one point a collision with Bulldog forward Shadrach had Brooks limping off court.

But he dished out more than he received as he came back stronger.

“My coach just told me to go out and pressure their point guards because they had weak ball-handling, so I did that,” Brooks said. “We capitalized on that, we got the win.”

Though they were eliminated from the south region playoffs, Dayaram said Jarvis is still in the running for the AAA OFSAA qualifiers.

“We’re going to be the number one seed to represent the south, so hopefully we come out and represent,” he said.

Eastern Commerce won’t have it so easy as their South Region final is against their Oakwood rivals.

Brooks said they’ll give it their all.

“(We’re) 100 percent ready,” he said. “We just have to minimize our mistakes and we’ll be able to come out with the win.”

Mascalidis couldn’t agree more.

After losing 68-63 to their nemesis Barons Jan. 19, it will be good to seek divine retribution, Mascalidis said.

“The hunger is there and we’ll be ready for them this time,” he said.

About this article:

By: Brian Baker
Posted: Feb 22 2010 10:56 am
Filed in: Sports
Edition: Toronto