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Frontenac, La Salle, Rideau seek OFSAA basketball championships
Posted: March 2nd, 2014 @ 12:42pm
All hands will be on deck for the La Salle Black Knights Monday when they begin play at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations AA boys basketball championship in Perth.
The Knights, who had to play without their two starting guards through the final weeks of the Kingston Area Secondary Schools Athletic Association schedule, will have Nick Ackley and Bruce Burns back in the lineup when they face Essex in the first round of the 18-team competition.
Ackley has recovered from an eye injury that required two operations. Burns, injured in a car accident, had a cast removed from his left wrist last Monday and has been practising with the team for a week.
Game time in the St. John high school gym is 1:30 p.m.
La Salle, 33-5 in league, playoff and tournament play this year, is the tournament's seventh-seeded team. Essex is the No. 13 seed.
The Knights will be seeking the first OFSAA double-A title since Ernestown won in 2004, when the tournament was, oddly enough, staged in Perth.
Merivale of Nepean is the top-seeded team in the draw. Ascension of Our Lord in Mississauga is No. 2, St. Francis of St. Catharines is No. 3 and St. Andrew's of Aurora is No. 4. The only recent champion in the field, 2012 winner Vaughan Road, is seeded sixth.
La Salle is one of three local teams seeking a provincial title this week. The KASSAA champion Frontenac Falcons are in the AAA tournament in Welland, while the Rideau District Lions will contest the single-A title in Timmins, both also starting Monday.
Frontenac, seeded 12th, will be seeking KASSAA's first medal at a provincial triple-A championship since the Falcons, led by Stu Turnbull and Rob Saunders, won gold in 2003.
Frontenac will begin play Monday at 1 p.m. against the tournament's host team, Welland Notre Dame, the second-seeded team in a challenging 16-team draw that has as its No. 1 seed defending champion Catholic Central of Windsor.
Other former champions in the draw are Whitby Anderson, winner in 2011 and 2012 but seeded 14th this time, and Martingrove, winner in 2010 and bronze medalist in 2012.
The other top seeds are No. 3 Saltfleet of Stoney Creek and No. 4 Martingrove.
At Timmins, Rideau is seeded 14th in a 16-team field, and the Lions will begin play Monday at 11 a.m. against No. 8 seed E.J. Lajeunesse of Windsor.
The top seeds in the draw are St. Basil of North York, the host team from O'Gorman at No. 2, Kings Christian of Oakville, the silver medalist last year, at No. 3 and J.L. Forster of Windsor at No. 4.
All the tournaments are false double-elimination affairs, where teams who lose in the first round survive, but teams that lose in the second round and thereafter are eliminated from championship contention.
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