In just a week, high school basketball playoffs will begin. From the look of the Frontenac Falcons and Regiopolis Notre Dame Panthers Tuesday afternoon, they’ll need every minute between now and then to get ready for them.
Of course, these were two teams that were playing their first Kingston Area Secondary Schools Athletic Association games since the end of first semester finals, and the two-week break they necessitate.
Still, there was some awfully bad basketball on display in the Frontenac gym, where the Falcons handed the Panthers a 69-28 thrashing.
Consider the second quarter collectively: Two senior basketball teams, each with a record above .500, combined to score 14 points, with three field goals between them, none of them from three-point range.
Before the game was over, two of the teams’ best players fouled out: Regi’s Eli Deluzio midway through the third quarter, and Frontenac’s Brendan Steele midway through the fourth.
Though clearly the better of the two teams—with a 19-2 first quarter and 28 points in the third—Frontenac had its ugly moments. The Falcons scored just five points in the second quarter and in the entire first half they scored just three two-point baskets.
Regi turned up its defensive pressure in the second quarter, rallying nicely from its dismal first period. The Panthers played such good defence, they quite likely would have caught Frontenac by halftime had they not committed so many unforced errors in the front court, everything from throwing the ball out of bounds, turning it over, travelling—even a rare shot-clock violation.
In losing for the fourth time in their last five games, the Panthers had no answer for Frontenac’s push from the start of the second half, when the Falcons scored 17 of the first 21 points to take a 41-15 lead. The only thing that remained in question was whether they would triple the Panthers, and with such scores as 48-19 late in the third quarter, and 57-22 early in the fourth, such an indignity loomed large.
Kevin Toussaint was the best story for Frontenac. He not only scored 18 points, he scored his team’s first five points of the second half, righting the Falcons’ ship and sending them on their way to the rout. The veteran Tristan Halladay had his best game since Christmas, a performance that included 18 points—eight of them in the third quarter—and a number of assists.
Regi, which didn’t get a field goal in the fourth quarter until Dylan Medeiros hit a long three at the closing buzzer, was led by Jacob Gosselin, who scored 12 points, including six of his team’s 10 points in the third quarter.
In other senior games Tuesday, the Sydenham Golden Eagles clinched fourth place, winning for the sixth time in nine games, 57-52 over the visiting Queen Elizabeth Raiders, while in Napanee the regular season champion Holy Cross Crusaders were putting the finishing touches on a perfect 9-0 season, defeating the Golden Hawks 57-36.
Sam Pierson had 25 points for Holy Cross, while Matt Campbell scored 17 for Napanee, which will finish sixth regardless of the outcome of its final game of the regular year, at home Thursday against La Salle.
Thursday’s other games, on the final day of the KASSAA regular season, will see Regi, 4-4, hosting Bayridge, 1-7, and Granite Ridge, 0-8, playing at second-place (7-1) KC.
Quarter-finals will be played next Tuesday, the semifinals on Thursday and the county championship will be decided Sunday, Feb. 21, in the nameless main gym at the Queen’s University Athletics and Recreation Centre.