Storm begins SOSSA AAA run Thursday
By Laura Lennie, News Staff
The Saltfleet Storm senior boys basketball team is feeling A-OK heading into the Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association AAA championship this week, despite its Hamilton-Wentworth Interscholastic Athletic Council final loss last week.
“I think the boys are excited heading into SOSSA,” head coach David Ormerod said. “It gives us a second chance after not playing our best in the city championship.”
Saltfleet lost to the Sir Allan MacNab Lions 57-41 in the division one championship last Friday at McMaster University. The Storm earned their place in the final after beating the Westmount Wildcats 67-41 in the semifinals last Wednesday.
Ormerod said the team got off to a slow start against the Lions.
“It was the first time for this group playing in a championship game, so nerves played a part in the loss,” he said. “Sir Allan MacNab was the more experienced team and to be honest, we just didn’t shoot the ball very well. We played extremely hard, but just couldn’t reward ourselves.”
Saltfleet defeated the Highland Hawks 74-61 in the quarter-finals last Monday, after finishing the regular season atop the east conference standings with a 13-1 record. The Storm’s only loss during the regular season came at the hands of the Lions in December.
Along the way, the team scored first-place finishes at the 13th annual Ken Ormerod Memorial Tip-off and Kitchener Resurrection tournaments. Saltfleet also made it to the final of the 13th annual Bob Wilmot Referee’s Memorial tournament.
“This is definitely one of the best Saltfleet squads I have ever coached,” Ormerod said. “The 2003-04 championship team led by (former captain and forward) Keenan Jeppesen is still tops, but this group of kids has a chance.”
Saltfleet will start its SOSSA AAA championship run Thursday against St. Catharines' Governor Simcoe Redcoats at Notre Dame College School in Welland. If the Storm wins both of their games Thursday and Friday, the team will advance to the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations AAA championships.
Ormerod said Saltfleet has a chance to be successful if the team plays to its “potential.”
“If we come out and play hard and dictate our style of play, we will do very well,” he said. “Hopefully, we learn from the city championship game and correct our mistakes. You don’t get a lot of second chances, so hopefully the team takes advantage of this or the season really will be over.”