Teams reaching for playoff success
Ty Wall of the Simcoe Sabres goes up for a spike during NSSAA action this fall. The senior Sabres have home court advantage throughout the playoffs, which begin next week. JACOB ROBINSON/Simcoe Reformer
Just because there are some clear favourites going into the NSSAA senior girls basketball and boys volleyball playoffs doesn't mean next week's games won't be fun to watch.
Just ask the coaches of two top programs and they'll tell you that anything can, and usually does, happen.
The Holy Trinity Titans will host both the junior and senior bracket. The senior Titans actually split their season series with Simcoe with each team finsishing 7-1, but the Titans won the head to head battle with a plus-3 point differential.
Holy Trinity face Delhi (3-5) Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in a game the Titans aren't about to take for granted.
“We're feeling good,” Titans coach Nick Flynn said Thursday. “We had a lot of work to do, some issues to address and we had a good practice the other day, we're going to have a good one tonight and we'll be able to address the things that Delhi did that we need to overcome because they're a pretty good team.”
Flynn has reiterated to his roster time and again that no matter which gym they're in, or what's happening beyond the court, the Titans have a job to do.
“The only thing that matters is what's happening with the 13 girls we have on our team and that's what I always say to them during timeouts, during games, 'the crowd doesn't matter, don't worry about the refs, I'll worry about the refs',” said Flynn. “We do what we need to do to win games.”
The other semi-final will see Simcoe (7-1) take on Waterford (3-5) at 6p.m.. The junior games will have Delhi (6-2) against Simcoe (4-4) at 3p.m. with the Titans (8-0) matching up against Valley Heights (2-6) at 4:30p.m. The finals will be played at Holy Trinity Nov. 9 with the juniors at 6p.m. and the seniors at 7:30p.m.
Having run the table in the regular season, the Sabres seniors know a target is directly on their backs with everything on the line.
“I think it always puts pressure on the first place team, absolutely,” said coach Joanne Defreyne. “I personally think whoever comes out to play, that’s the team that’s going to win. It’s going to be about consistency this year, for sure. We know there’s some consistent teams out there, but that doesn’t always mean we play consistent. As a first place team you’ve got everything to lose and as a second or third, fourth place team sometimes the pressure isn’t there, you just come out and do your best.”
Simcoe (8-0) hosts Holy Trinity (2-6) in the semi-finals Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m. and Valley Heights (6-2) takes on Delhi (4-4) at 6 p.m. - both games will determine Norfolk's entry at the AA and A CWOSSA tournaments.
The junior bracket will see the first place Delhi Raiders (7-1) vs. Simcoe (3-5) at 7:30 p.m. Monday and Holy Trinity (5-3) and Valley Heights (5-3) clash at 6 p.m. Both games will be played at DDSS.
The finals will take place at Simcoe Composite Nov. 8 with the juniors at 6p.m. and the seniors to follow.
Defence is among the few things Simcoe will be focused on in the days leading up to the post-season.
“We need to put up our blocks and serve well and probably step up our game as far as court coverage,” Defreyne said. “We’re a bigger team and sometimes the bigger you are the tougher it is to get to the floor so that’s what we’re trying to focus on before Monday.”