RedHawks are red hot at EOSSAA

SFDCI RedHawks junior boys' basketball team
The Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute RedHawks junior boys’ basketball team claimed the gold medal on Feb. 29 at the Eastern Ontario Secondary Schools Athletic Association tournament in Cornwall. It was redemption for the young squad who lost the gold medal game last year. Pictured: back row, left to right, Jayden Spencer, Todd Spencer, Jack VanWingerden, Mateo Compton, Cooper Smith, Isaac Drummond, Tyler Little, Colton Staples, Tyreese Carrion, Carson Lanigan, Dave Wells; front, Michael McIntyre, Ian Blondin, Michael Severe, Reed King, Nolan MacNeil and Kilian Morrison. Photo credit: Courtesy Todd Spencer
Posted on: March 1, 2024

Gold medal redemption for junior boys’ basketball team


All they wanted to do was win – and that they did. 

On Thursday, Feb. 29, the Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute’s junior boys’ basketball team went all the way to the gold medal game where they claimed an exciting 48-46 championship win in the Eastern Ontario Secondary Schools Athletic Association (EOSSAA) tournament in Cornwall. 

It was a sweet victory for the young RedHawks as they were in a similar situation last year, but found themselves with silver medals. 

This year, their sights were set on the ultimate goal, but they had to get through the hometown favourites, the St. Joseph Catholic High School Panthers – hosts of the event. The RedHawks had met this team twice this season outside league play, and the Panthers defeated the Smiths Falls juniors in both games. 

It was late in the third quarter of the EOSSAA gold medal game though, when St. Joseph capitalized on three turnovers and went up by six, but that didn’t stop the drive of three-point shooter, Michael Severe.

He was a little humble when reliving the moment, the next day at the high school, as the game played on repeat in the hall outside the coach rooms. A crowd had gathered to watch. 

Jayden and Todd Spencer
Jayden (left) and Todd Spencer coach the junior boys’ basketball team at SFDCI. The father-son duo are enjoying their time together on the bench. Jayden has had four championships under his father’s tutelage and now he says, it’s a full-circle moment to be able to coach with him. Photo credit: Laurie Weir.

Down by a single, Severe sunk a trey as the RedHawks went up by a deuce. All they had to do was hold tough on their defense, which they did, as the Panthers’ missed three attempts to score. 

Smiths Falls gained possession with seconds remaining and never looked back. 

When asked what the defining moment in the tournament, co-captain Kilian Morrison said it was Severe’s three-point shot. 

Reed King, co-team captain, said he didn’t think they were going to pull this one off. “I was nervous,” he said. 

What got them to this point though, King said, was losing to two tough teams in league play then beating them in the county playoffs. That started their winning roll as it showed their resilience. 

Nolan MacNeil, co-captain number three, said their familial bond has helped them achieve success. “Just hanging out in hotels, in each other’s rooms, team dinners, and stuff like that,” he said has been pivotal in developing that bond. 

When asked how they plan to maintain the momentum and success achieved at EOSSAA, Colton Staples had the best answer. “We just keep rolling,” he said. 

Getting to EOSSAA, the boys defeated the Almonte Thunderbolts in the Lanark County Interschool Athletic Association’s tournament final.

Hometown News
Author: Hometown News