By Darren Lum
There is plenty to feel good about for the Red Hawks senior boys’ basketball team whose 2019-2020 season ended with a COSSA semi-final 50-27 loss to the Prince Edward Collegiate Panthers close to two weeks ago.
With the ongoing labour issues between the province and the teachers’ union the past few weeks of the winter athletic season has been challenging on a logistic level with teachers unable to leave the school during school hours. Having administrative staff step in and help coach provided the opportunity to compete which was a victory for the Hawks and other affected TLDSB secondary schools.
The Panthers were going to be a tough out for the Hawks as they entered play undefeated in the regular season in the Bay of Quinte area. Their lone loss came in the Bay of Quinte Championship and so they were looking to redeem themselves by winning the A COSSA Championships.
Coach Paul Longo characterized the Hawks as having a solid game against the Panthers who were led by Alex Arsenault with 27 points. Arsenault had missed the previous six weeks with a broken hand and returned for the game and obviously didn’t have any rust with his game. Along with the points he also added six rebounds.
Longo said in an email he “was a definite handful but we made him work for his points.”
He adds losing to the Panthers who advanced past the Hawks to finish as the COSSA A champs softened the disappointment. The Panthers he pointed out are attending the all-provincials as medal hopefuls entering as an eighth seed in the OFSAA tournament with a 20-team field of schools in the province.
The future is bright for the team with up to 11 players expected to return including captains and guards Camden Marra and Brian Kim. Longo said his guards “played solid at both ends of the floor.”
“We are looking good for next season with 10 or 11 returning players. Overall incredible group of young men and the entire season was a highlight for coaches [Sam] Little [me] and [Dave] Waito” he wrote in an email.