Selections Getting Tougher
Very tough week, with lots of playoffs and athletes kicking it up a few notches, to keep the list to 10 athletes.
So, I'l just refer to these as 10 of the better performances since I really don't want to deal with some parents and coaches - who were very nasty trying to put up poor cases for their personal favorites. I'll listen, but they have to be performances from the past seven days folks - and not last month.
My ten for the past week - and I have basketball, swimming, track, wrestling and hockey:
Jonathon Baballal, Turner/Fenton. Take my advice, don't wrestle with this kid. He won the Ontario gold medal in the 41 kilos two years ago and last year added another gold in the 44 kilos. Looks like he's going for the Triple Crown. He won the 47.5 kilos at the Peel Region finals and advances to the Ontario's - again.
Paulina Bond, Malvern. Three individual gold medals at the Toronto District School Board swim finals. First in the 100-metre breast (1:00.58). First in the 100-metre butterfly (1:04.93). First in the 100-metre individual medley (1:08.45). Helped her school to finish - first. Then, she left for the Eastern Canadian swim-offs.
Brandon Bos, Markham. Some people have told me that I think he`s the best basketball player in the Greater Toronto Area. I never said that. What I will say is that he has more 25+ point games than anyone else. Try 39 in an 82-50 York Region senior quarterfinal win over Alex Mackenzie. He had 36 in a win over Thornhill too.
Jordanna Compagnone, Villanova. She had a say in her King City-area school winning a senior girls soccer title last June. Now, she knows how to score goals - for the hockey team. Try five goals in an 8-5 win this past week over Branksome Hall in a Conference of Indepedent Schools girls' Division Two ice hockey game.
Ryan Lenardon, St. Marcellinus. Stellar work between the pipes for this goalie in a 2-1 Peel Region victory over Mayfield. By the way, the win clinched a second hockey league title and improved the team record to 32-2-4 in two years. Some hockey fans claim goalies make a team. Well, he's had nine shutouts in two seasons.
George Mason, St. Michael's. I know he played in Orillia last year but he's apparently eligible to play hoops for the all-boys' private school in mid-town Toronto. How about 10 three-point buckets and a team-high 34 points in an 85-70 win over St. Thomas More of Hamilton at the Ontario Catholic Classic..
Jonathan Obiri-Yeboah, Father Henry Carr. A track team loaded with sprinters, he was the first to win a gold medal at the Hamilton Indoor Games - but in the shot put. Only 14 years old, 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, the "Gentle Giant" is believed to have Carr's first gold in a midget boys' shot put event in almost four decades.
Kevin Pangos, Denison. I did read someone say that this kid was going to be the next Steve Nash. I wish him well, but he's got a long way to go. He's a 6-foot-1 point guard, been on a provincial squad, played in a FIBA tournament and scored 41 points for his team in a 68-49 senior basketball quarterfinal win over Sacred Heart.
Nick Poon, York Mills. Another repeat winner in this column and deserves to be. Four gold medals (three individual and one in the relay) in the water at the Toronto District School Board swim championships. Last week, he did it at the North regional qualifiers. Now, can he do it at the Ontario finals?
Eric Yeung, Bethune. Here's the deal with this junior basketball player. He scored 46 points, almost as much as the opposing team, in a 94-47 Metro East Tier Two semifinal win over R.H. King. There's more. In the final, an off day - just 24 points in a 58-36 win over L'Amoreaux. Bethune is 24-3 on the year.