It was a long road to victory for the Blessed Mother Teresa Titans, but they made it.
After a 96-49 rout over Michael Power on Feb. 24, they defeated rivals Father Henry Carr 67-46 last Monday to take the Division One basketball title.
The Titans now prepare for the OFFSA finals, which take place March 9-11 in Windsor.
Power’s fate was sealed barely a few minutes in to the first period, when two Mother Theresa players scored within a few seconds of each other.
The audience erupted into pandemonium, and the game had to be paused so the referees could calm the crowds.
Jonathan Alexander dunked the ball, and then swiftly stole it back and passed it to Ancil Martin, who sank it again from a distance, all within a few seconds.
Coach Ren Gonsalves credits these few seconds as effectively winning the game before it even really started.
“The two dunks, mentally, it gets into the player’s heads,” he said afterwards.
“It took them right out of the game. That’s the momentum shifter right there, sort of the TSN turning point.”
Forward Jermaine Lightbody echoed this sentiment. “No matter what happens, the game is in your hands because you have the crowd support with you,” he said, “We got the momentum to our side very quickly.”
This same move would come in handy during the subsequent final game facing Father Henry Carr Crusaders in the finals at Monsignor Henry Johnson high school.
The rivalry was hot between the two schools. It was a close match near the beginning, with the Titans only leading 14-7 after one quarter.
From there, the victory was sealed when Onnex Blackwood and Jonathan Alexander combined for the highlight replay of the massive dunk against Power in the previous game.
The Crusaders managed to close the gap during the final period and coach Richard Gallacher admitted that this began to worry him.
“The thing that’s dangerous about Henry Carr is that they can put up 20 points in the space of three minutes.”
But the last-gasp effort was not enough to save the Crusaders, and the audience knew it, as the Crusaders fans actually began clearing out of the room within the final few minutes of the game, before they could see the Titans clinch the game.
After the game, the team received their medallions, and congratulations, and are now preparing for OFFSA.
“There’s a lot of tough teams out there,” Gallacher admits. “It’s a battle when we get there…. The plan is when you get to OFFSA to get it all together.”