Eastern Commerce High School’s boys basketball team has been crowned champion of Toronto for the fourth year running after edging cross-town rivals Oakwood Barons 64-61 Thursday.
Supporters of both schools packed the stands at Ryerson University to take in the 2010 Toronto Boys’ Basketball City Championship.
With the win, Eastern’s Saints move on to the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association Championship in Sturgeon Falls on March 8. Head coach Kevin Jeffers believes that focus led his team to victory.
“Our key word tonight was focus and the boys proved it. We had to make sure we took care of business again and we did,” he said.
Jeffers said securing the win wasn’t easy. What started out as a blowout game for Eastern Commerce quickly turned into a fight to the finish as Oakwood tied the game with less than 50 seconds in the fourth quarter. Oakwood coach Anthony Miller was proud of his team’s hustle.
“It was a one possession game, a small margin victory for the other team,” he said. “We fought back and I’m proud of that.”
The teams first met each other in the regular season where Oakwood managed to take home the ‘W’, but Eastern Commerce retaliated with a victory in the South Regional finals. Eastern Commerce forward Cameron Robertson, 18, said that both teams looked forward to this meeting.
“We lost to them in the season then we beat them in the regionals. This was like a rival match between us two, so it was great that we won,” he said.
Robertson scored 14 points for his team and made a crucial block during a one-point possession game in the third quarter. The star player and his team are proud of the win and are excited for OFSAA. Coach Jeffers suggested that in order to be a contender, his young team will have to prepare.
“We have only missed OFSAA once in the last decade, which is great. But as a young team we might be challenged this year. The veterans are used to five games in a row, so learning the routine is crucial,” he said. “We’ll work on that.”
Jeffers and his team shouldn’t get too comfortable with their victory. Oakwood still has a chance at joining them at OFSAA. They play Emery Collegiate Friday in a final attempt to secure a spot in the provincials.