Friday, June 14, 2024

‘Pure joy and jubilation’: Jaguars win OFSAA gold, make history

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‘It was the perfect ending to an amazing season,’ says coach; Will McCauley and Ryan Harris led Barrie team in scoring two games each

Local sports history was made when players from the St. Joseph’s Catholic High School Jaguars senior boys basketball team were crowned provincial champions after winning gold at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) provincial AA championships last week.

The Jaguars took the OFSAA gold medal in Ottawa by beating the hometown Ashbury College, 58-46, in the tournament final on March 6.

According to St. Joe’s coach Drew Taylor, the last time a Barrie team claimed OFSAA gold was 28 years ago, in 1996, with Innisdale Secondary School winning a championship.

The win also marks the first time OFSAA gold in a team sport has been brought home by St. Joseph’s in its history.

“When the final buzzer sounded, it was pure joy and jubilation. It was the perfect ending to an amazing season,” Taylor told BarrieToday.

The key moment in the game was the Jaguars’ run of points in the second quarter when they outscored Ashbury by a margin of 19-8.

“That gave us a 36-23 halftime lead, and I said to the team at that time, if we held them to under 50 points for the game, we would be OFSAA gold medallists,” he said.

In the five games they played at the OFSAA tourney, Will McCauley and Ryan Harris led the team in scoring two games each.

“Fittingly, in the final they both had 17 points each,” Taylor said. “The Ashbury coach said at the end of the game that numbers 10 and 22 are special players, and that his team didn’t have an answer for them.”

Taylor said he was very proud of his squad. Heading into the tournament, the Jaguars were seeded seventh out of 20 teams.

“We weren’t the favourite to win it, or even medal, and that motivation as the underdog, especially in the final against a packed local Ottawa (team) and Ashbury crowd, gave us strength and unity as a team,” he said.

The St. Joseph’s Jaguars senior boys basketball team won OFSAA gold in Ottawa on March 6, 2024. | Image supplied


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