Cardinal Newman senior boys basketball squad heads to provincial championships

Sports Mar 01, 2017 by Larry Moko Stoney Creek News

The Cardinal Newman Cardinals shrugged off a furious fourth-quarter comeback attempt by the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders Feb. 27 to earn a berth in the OFSAA boys’ AAA high school basketball tournament.

Playing on their home court in Oakville, the Halton champions from Aquinas seemed to have all the momentum when they reeled off a 10-0 run to begin the final quarter of the Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference title game. The Raiders trailed by only two points as a result of that outburst. But the Cardinals didn’t collapse. The Hamilton-Wentworth champions responded with 15 unanswered points of their own to pull away and win, 68-53.

The OFSAA tournament is March 6-8 in North Bay.

“When I called a time out with six minutes to go and brought them down, I didn’t have to say much,” Newman coach Victor Raso said. “They were calm and focused.”

According to Raso, Cardinal senior veterans Goran Veselinovic, Tyrell Hebert and Maliek Gordon simply told their teammates to stay calm, defend and rebound.

“We took over after that,” Raso said. “We went possession by possession, got stops and executed.”

The visitors trailed 18-13 at the end of the first quarter. However, Newman took a 36-26 lead into the intermission and stretched that advantage to 53-41 at the three-quarter mark.

Point guard Maliek Gordon paced the Cardinals with a game-high 29 points. He also dished out numerous assists. Veselinovic contributed 20 points, while Hebert and Nick Rakas chipped in with eight apiece.

Reniel Jamison Tyler Sagl replied with 13 and 11 points, respectively, for the Raiders.

“We stuck to the game plan and ran the plays,” Gordon said of Newman’s performance. “We stayed focused.”

Gordon got off to a sluggish start, missing time and time again in the opening quarter from in close when he attacked the basket. The lefthander had only two points in that first eight minutes, but netted 17 in the second quarter.

“I kept missing,” Gordon said, “but my thinking was the next one would fall. When I got hot and hit three 3s in row I got more into the flow of the game.”

With the victory, the Cardinals’ regular season and playoff unbeaten record reached 15 games.

“I loved how aggressive Maliek was,” Raso said. “Sometimes he gets into his own head when he misses stuff around the rim. But he didn’t stop attacking. When he’s attacking he’s incredible.”

A floater in the lane by Gordon re-ignited the Cardinals in the fourth quarter. That was followed by a baseline layup three-point play by Veselinovic and a dunk by Hebert after receiving a perfect feed from Gordon. Newman’s lead at that point was back up to 11 points with just over three minutes remaining.

Newman defeated Aquinas – coached by former Cathedral and McMaster player Joe Polizzi -- by 26 points in their other meeting this season at a tournament in Hamilton.

“They (Raiders) are well-coached, tough and disciplined,” Raso said. “We’re not 26 points better than that team. They are a little younger than us but they have some guys that are skilled.”

Gordon, one of five Grade 12-plus players on the Newman roster, says the Cardinals “have a chance of winning” the OFSAA title. “It will be tough,” he said. “We’ve played most of those teams. We’ve either beaten them or lost by a few.”

Raso, too, is fairly confident heading to the OFSAA tournament. “I don’t think there’s a team in the province that we can’t beat,” Raso said. “I’m hoping we’re the 4 or 5 seed … I think that’s realistic.”

Newman lost by six points to the powerful St. Benedict Saints of Cambridge in the final of this year’s Silver Fox tournament in Hamilton. However, Gordon was unavailable due to injury for that contest.

Cardinal Newman senior boys basketball squad heads to provincial championships

Sports Mar 01, 2017 by Larry Moko Stoney Creek News

The Cardinal Newman Cardinals shrugged off a furious fourth-quarter comeback attempt by the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders Feb. 27 to earn a berth in the OFSAA boys’ AAA high school basketball tournament.

Playing on their home court in Oakville, the Halton champions from Aquinas seemed to have all the momentum when they reeled off a 10-0 run to begin the final quarter of the Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference title game. The Raiders trailed by only two points as a result of that outburst. But the Cardinals didn’t collapse. The Hamilton-Wentworth champions responded with 15 unanswered points of their own to pull away and win, 68-53.

The OFSAA tournament is March 6-8 in North Bay.

“When I called a time out with six minutes to go and brought them down, I didn’t have to say much,” Newman coach Victor Raso said. “They were calm and focused.”

According to Raso, Cardinal senior veterans Goran Veselinovic, Tyrell Hebert and Maliek Gordon simply told their teammates to stay calm, defend and rebound.

“We took over after that,” Raso said. “We went possession by possession, got stops and executed.”

The visitors trailed 18-13 at the end of the first quarter. However, Newman took a 36-26 lead into the intermission and stretched that advantage to 53-41 at the three-quarter mark.

Point guard Maliek Gordon paced the Cardinals with a game-high 29 points. He also dished out numerous assists. Veselinovic contributed 20 points, while Hebert and Nick Rakas chipped in with eight apiece.

Reniel Jamison Tyler Sagl replied with 13 and 11 points, respectively, for the Raiders.

“We stuck to the game plan and ran the plays,” Gordon said of Newman’s performance. “We stayed focused.”

Gordon got off to a sluggish start, missing time and time again in the opening quarter from in close when he attacked the basket. The lefthander had only two points in that first eight minutes, but netted 17 in the second quarter.

“I kept missing,” Gordon said, “but my thinking was the next one would fall. When I got hot and hit three 3s in row I got more into the flow of the game.”

With the victory, the Cardinals’ regular season and playoff unbeaten record reached 15 games.

“I loved how aggressive Maliek was,” Raso said. “Sometimes he gets into his own head when he misses stuff around the rim. But he didn’t stop attacking. When he’s attacking he’s incredible.”

A floater in the lane by Gordon re-ignited the Cardinals in the fourth quarter. That was followed by a baseline layup three-point play by Veselinovic and a dunk by Hebert after receiving a perfect feed from Gordon. Newman’s lead at that point was back up to 11 points with just over three minutes remaining.

Newman defeated Aquinas – coached by former Cathedral and McMaster player Joe Polizzi -- by 26 points in their other meeting this season at a tournament in Hamilton.

“They (Raiders) are well-coached, tough and disciplined,” Raso said. “We’re not 26 points better than that team. They are a little younger than us but they have some guys that are skilled.”

Gordon, one of five Grade 12-plus players on the Newman roster, says the Cardinals “have a chance of winning” the OFSAA title. “It will be tough,” he said. “We’ve played most of those teams. We’ve either beaten them or lost by a few.”

Raso, too, is fairly confident heading to the OFSAA tournament. “I don’t think there’s a team in the province that we can’t beat,” Raso said. “I’m hoping we’re the 4 or 5 seed … I think that’s realistic.”

Newman lost by six points to the powerful St. Benedict Saints of Cambridge in the final of this year’s Silver Fox tournament in Hamilton. However, Gordon was unavailable due to injury for that contest.

Cardinal Newman senior boys basketball squad heads to provincial championships

Sports Mar 01, 2017 by Larry Moko Stoney Creek News

The Cardinal Newman Cardinals shrugged off a furious fourth-quarter comeback attempt by the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders Feb. 27 to earn a berth in the OFSAA boys’ AAA high school basketball tournament.

Playing on their home court in Oakville, the Halton champions from Aquinas seemed to have all the momentum when they reeled off a 10-0 run to begin the final quarter of the Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference title game. The Raiders trailed by only two points as a result of that outburst. But the Cardinals didn’t collapse. The Hamilton-Wentworth champions responded with 15 unanswered points of their own to pull away and win, 68-53.

The OFSAA tournament is March 6-8 in North Bay.

“When I called a time out with six minutes to go and brought them down, I didn’t have to say much,” Newman coach Victor Raso said. “They were calm and focused.”

According to Raso, Cardinal senior veterans Goran Veselinovic, Tyrell Hebert and Maliek Gordon simply told their teammates to stay calm, defend and rebound.

“We took over after that,” Raso said. “We went possession by possession, got stops and executed.”

The visitors trailed 18-13 at the end of the first quarter. However, Newman took a 36-26 lead into the intermission and stretched that advantage to 53-41 at the three-quarter mark.

Point guard Maliek Gordon paced the Cardinals with a game-high 29 points. He also dished out numerous assists. Veselinovic contributed 20 points, while Hebert and Nick Rakas chipped in with eight apiece.

Reniel Jamison Tyler Sagl replied with 13 and 11 points, respectively, for the Raiders.

“We stuck to the game plan and ran the plays,” Gordon said of Newman’s performance. “We stayed focused.”

Gordon got off to a sluggish start, missing time and time again in the opening quarter from in close when he attacked the basket. The lefthander had only two points in that first eight minutes, but netted 17 in the second quarter.

“I kept missing,” Gordon said, “but my thinking was the next one would fall. When I got hot and hit three 3s in row I got more into the flow of the game.”

With the victory, the Cardinals’ regular season and playoff unbeaten record reached 15 games.

“I loved how aggressive Maliek was,” Raso said. “Sometimes he gets into his own head when he misses stuff around the rim. But he didn’t stop attacking. When he’s attacking he’s incredible.”

A floater in the lane by Gordon re-ignited the Cardinals in the fourth quarter. That was followed by a baseline layup three-point play by Veselinovic and a dunk by Hebert after receiving a perfect feed from Gordon. Newman’s lead at that point was back up to 11 points with just over three minutes remaining.

Newman defeated Aquinas – coached by former Cathedral and McMaster player Joe Polizzi -- by 26 points in their other meeting this season at a tournament in Hamilton.

“They (Raiders) are well-coached, tough and disciplined,” Raso said. “We’re not 26 points better than that team. They are a little younger than us but they have some guys that are skilled.”

Gordon, one of five Grade 12-plus players on the Newman roster, says the Cardinals “have a chance of winning” the OFSAA title. “It will be tough,” he said. “We’ve played most of those teams. We’ve either beaten them or lost by a few.”

Raso, too, is fairly confident heading to the OFSAA tournament. “I don’t think there’s a team in the province that we can’t beat,” Raso said. “I’m hoping we’re the 4 or 5 seed … I think that’s realistic.”

Newman lost by six points to the powerful St. Benedict Saints of Cambridge in the final of this year’s Silver Fox tournament in Hamilton. However, Gordon was unavailable due to injury for that contest.