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Saturday, Jun. 23, 2018
Undefeated regular seasons pave the way to championships
by Randy Pascal

The dominant teams in boys high school basketball this year just kept on dominating as the city championships took place Saturday at a pair of venues.

In senior play, the Lasalle Lancers simply out-ran the Sudbury Secondary School North Stars, registering a convincing 74-43 victory as graduating fifth year sharp-shooter Noah LaPierre paced the attack with 22 points.

Ronin Makela (12), Dylan Terris (9) and Brady Bond (7) also chipped in offensively for the Lancers, who not only ran the table in local regular season play, but were also coming off a solid performance at the Small Schools Showcase in Burlington one week earlier.

The Lancers downed both Lester B Pearson (74-43 - LaPierre with 15) and Acton High School (61-30 - LaPierre with 25), before suffering a 64-37 loss to the St Andrews Saints, as LaPierre was sidelined for the balance of the tournament, hitting the floor hard in a nasty spill.

The team, however, regrouped nicely, outlasting host Kings Christian College 65-60 in triple overtime, as Makela (18) and Terris (15) topped the scoring, while grade ten outside threat Liam LaPierre nailed a key three pointer to force overtime in the first place.

Back on home court this past weekend, Lasalle limited the North Stars trio of Mukenge Muray (17), K'Andre Willis (12) and Jeff Lafortune (9) to a combined total of 38 points.

The Lancers were not the only local squad with an unblemished mark to enjoy success on Saturday, as the Collège Notre-Dame Alouettes' junior and senior teams, which combined for a regular season record of 22-0, swept the banners in front of the home crowd at CND.

The juniors were pushed more than usual, posting a 58-46 win over the Lockerby Vikings, despite bolting to a 15-2 lead less than three minutes into the game. "Lockerby called a quick timeout, changed their defensive scheme, got more ball pressure on the perimeter and we started panicking a bit," noted Alouettes' head coach Martin Nadeau.

"Give them credit, they made a good push in the fourth and played hard right to the end." Anthony Rogerson powered the Notre-Dame attack with a 23 point effort, while Matt Michel netted 18 for the Vikes.

With a full season mark (tournament games included) of 34-4, Nadeau acknowledged that he's blessed with a very special core of talent, one that can present some interesting challenges.

"I have a group of perfectionists," said Nadeau. "They can be their own worst enemies. They know they're good, they go into games very confident, and winning is an addiction for them. They know they can be better, that they are beatable."

The landscape of the senior ranks, in Sudbury next year, is shaping up to be an interesting one, as the one single-handed dominant game changer (Noah LaPierre) moves on to the post-secondary level, leaving behind a group of anywhere from six to eight senior teams that might well be able to beat one another on any given night, including this Notre-Dame junior class that moves up.

"They are looking forward to it, as much as they know this year is not done," said Nadeau. Following in their footsteps will be a midget boys team at Notre-Dame that sailed to a city championship, also over Lockerby, by a final count of 56-28.

Throw the Macdonald-Cartier Panthères in as one of the senior teams to keep an eye on next year. Coach Ron Poulin will return virtually the entire lineup from the squad that captured the Division II city final on Friday, defeating the Lively Hawks 58-47.

A 30-point outburst from Yanic Poulin accompanied by another 15 courtesy of Cedric Lessard was more than enough to offset the Lively duo of John Matheson (26) and Nicholas Rideout (14).

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