D8 Boys Basketball: Phoenix down, but not out


WATERLOO REGION (February 20, 2024) – Last week, Resurrection hosted both senior and junior basketball championships as top seeds, and both games got off to rocky starts for the host teams. 

In the senior final, Resurrection was faced with a high energy Monsignor Doyle squad who was looking to add another huge win to their resume after knocking off undefeated St. Mary’s High School in their semi-final. The Mustangs carried that momentum into the first quarter against the Phoenix earning a 16-7 advantage on seven points from George Nasir. 

Midway through the third quarter, down 40-19, Resurrection seemed to shift their balance from the heels to their toes. Their spirit elevated on defense, translating to baskets on offense. Clutch scoring from Lucian Lavric and Cole Araujo energized the Phoenix crowd which initaiated a comeback. 

Resurrection would go on to outscore Monsignor Doyle 20-4 in the fourth quarter, with their top three scorers in the frame coming off the bench. Lavric was the game’s top scorer with 19 points, while Derek Baxter finished with 12 off the bench. Monsignor Doyle’s Josh Henry tallied 18 while Nasir finished with 16. 

The 62-54 win makes the first senior boys basketball championship for the Phoenix since the 2011 season. 

Resurrection will advance to the triple-A CWOSSA Championship beginning February 23rd in Guelph. St. David will advance to the double-A event in Shelburne, while both Woodland and Père-René-de-Galinée will play in the single-A championship in Walkerton. 

Resurrection’s junior basketball team entered the final heavily favoured, having finished their regular season with 11 wins and no losses. However, the Eagles did not want to be beaten by the Phoenix for a third time. 

In the first half, St. Mary’s battled to a three-point lead, giving Resurrection a scare, and they continued to hold strong until late in the third quarter not willing to relinquish the lead.

Resurrection’s scoring ability eventually became too much to bear. Jaydon Szczepara and Calvin McDougall helped the Phoenix go on a 18-9 run in the last ten minutes of the game to win 52-43. 

Szczepara finished with 20 points, while McDougall scored 12. Eagle’s Ty Ward scored a game high 21 points in a balanced scoring attack, and teammate Jaydon Randell added 9. 

The junior teams from Resurrection, St. David, Woodland and Père-René-de-Galinée will all join their senior squads at their respective CWOSSA Championships later this week.