David & Mary Thomson Titans have completed their three-peat.
As in Tuesday’s semi-final, it was the performances of Jahziah Bell and Cameron Brown that carried the Scarborough club to a third-straight Senior Tier One Basketball East Region title, in an 82-42 victory over the Winston Churchill Bulldogs on Thursday afternoon.
Brown was the spark plug for the Titans as his relentless energy on the boards, tenacity on defence, and 18 points on offence rallied the team when they fell behind early.
His running-mate Bell scored in transition at will, dropping a game-high 30 points. His ability to finish at the rim helped the Titans extend their lead and bury the game in the second half.
Seemingly every time there was a steal by the Titans, Bell was on the receiving end capitalising.
This was Thomson’s fifth title in the last eight years. The victory moves them to a 10-0 record this season.
In each of the last two years Thomson has fallen in the city’s semi-finals, but they will get another shot on Tuesday, when they face the South region champion Oakwood Barons.
Asked what allowed them to win so convincingly, co-coach Linda Manzo pointed to play without the ball.
“Defence,” she said. “It’s what we’ve been building on the entire season.”
Coach Jason Parsaud pointed to their discipline, explaining that their talented roster has bought into the system they’ve been taught.
Despite the final score, the match-up did not start perfectly for the Titans as the Bulldogs came out shooting hot from the arch with Kissan Mathivarnan draining four-straight three-pointers to get out to a 12-5 lead.
Immediately following the fourth field goal, Titans’ coaches Manzo and Jason Parsaud called a time-out.
Thomson’s perimeter defence improved dramatically. Mathivarnan never got another open look and was kept scoreless from that point onward.
The Titans stormed back with an 8-0 run to take the lead 13-12, and Winston Churchill never regained it.
Titan’s Tyre Thompson ended the up-and-down first quarter with a buzzer-beating circus-shot three to end the first quarter with a Titans’ 18-14 lead.
The second quarter featured the defensive identity of the Titans’ play making its mark. The Titans held the Bulldogs to just eight points in the to go into halftime with a 45-22 lead.
Defensive domination in the second half created countless turnovers and they grew their lead to 66-34 going into the final frame.
The Titans look to advance to the city finals on Tuesday, where they play the South region champion Oakwood Barons.