Coach Linda Manzo had a spring to her step on Tuesday afternoon.
The David & Mary Thomson Titans senior boys basketball boss is off to her third consecutive TDSSAA regional championship after her team defeated the visiting Porter Blue Eagles 85-35.
Manzo was also brimming with joy for another important reason.
Titans possess a perfect 9-0 record in league play, with a great chance to qualify for the city finals at the end of February.
“Coach Manzo developed this program over the last eight years,” said Titans associate coach Jason Parnaud. “To win a lot is a result of our players. They innately know how to score baskets and stop other teams.
“It makes it fun to coach.”
Tuesday’s game marked the first played in the school’s new gymnasium, and the Titans responded, dominating from the opening tip.
The last time the Titans faced Porter was on February 11th, where they won 77-70.
Thomson increased its defensive intensity. Whether it was implementing a “box and one” or double teams, Porter were pressured all game.
The Titans lock-down defence often led to turnovers, paving the way for their successful transition game. It is a free-flowing, fast pace of play that allowed Thomson to pile on the points.
According to Coach Manzo, that is attributed to the team chemistry developed over the last few years.
“A lot of our guys have been playing with each other since Grade 9,” said Manzo. “They have played other collegiate sports. A lot of those athletic skills translate to the basketball court.”
If there are two Titans players that exemplify the “playing for each other” mantra, it’s Cameron Brown and Jahziah Bell.
To inch their team closer to the city championships, where the full roster can play.
Brown led the Titans with 36 points, using his size to hustle for offensive rebounds and throw down slam dunks. Bell put up 28 points, following up a 35 point performance in Thomson’s quarterfinal win against R.H. King Academy.
“We are excited,” said Brown, on making a third consecutive regional final. “We are going to put in a lot of work and cause a lot of trouble for opposing teams.”
Thomson will look to punch its ticket to the city championship by beating Winston Churchill Bulldogs, a team the Titans have yet to face this season.