By Larry Moko
Two Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic teams played each other Saturday night in the final of the prestigious Silver Fox Invitational basketball tournament.
The Hamilton-based high school event originated in 1972 and annually features many of the best senior boys’ high school teams in the province.
This year’s title went to the Cathedral Gaels, who convincingly defeated the St. Thomas More Knights, 80-46, at Saltfleet District Secondary School. Only on one other occasion – More versus St. Mary in 1998 – had two Hamilton teams ever faced each other in a Silver Fox championship game.
“Our guys were focused coming into this game,” Cathedral coach Luca Fortino said. “They had their mind set on winning the Fox. We hadn’t won it since 1984.”
En route to the championship, Cathedral also scored victories over Grimsby’s Blessed Trinity Thunder (53-48), the Bernie Custis Tigers (72-64) and Toronto’s Michael Power Trojans (59-40).
St. Thomas More downed the Sir Allan MacNab Lions (55-44), the Saltfleet Storm (54-50) and London’s Beal Raiders (59-55).
The final saw Malcolm Maganda and Mark Cadet lead a balanced Cathedral scoring attack with 17 and 10 points, respectively. Tournament MVP Jordan Truelove and Jojo Moudiandambu each chipped in with nine points. The Gaels raced to a 12-0 lead and never looked back.
“We have 13 or 14 guys on this team,” Fortino said, “and every single guy on a given night could be a contributor. We don’t have a set rotation. That’s what is great about this team. They are such a dynamic group of guys and they love playing basketball together. We always come in with high intensity.”
The results improved Cathedral’s overall record this season to 27-2.
The top scorers for the Knights were Ryan Knight, with 18 points, and Jonah Fournier, with 10.
“It’s been a great experience,” More coach Josh Sheriff said of the two-day 16-team Silver Fox.
“The guys worked really hard. You ask them to bring effort and they had that in spades.
“I think we learned a lot of good things that we can apply going forward in league play. Hopefully we continue to peak.”
The First-Team All-Star selections included Zach Powell of Cathedral along with Owen Vernon and Zivon Mhlongo of More. Second-Team honours were handed out to Hamilton players Cale Calura of the St. Jean de Brebeuf Braves, Christian Craciun of the Bishop Tonnos Titans and Nolan Ormerod of Saltfleet.
The Jim Lyle Leadership Award was presented to Cathedral’s Trevor Morris, while the Ron Kovljenic Fair Play Award went to Vernon.
Source: Marnie Jadon