Richview basketballers continue OFSAA quest

ALONE AT THE TOP: Richview’s T.J. Rutty lays down the dunk with authority during senior boys, Tier 1, West Region play. Rutty scored 22 points and had 14 rebounds in the Saints’ 76-53 win over Etobicoke Rams.

Last year’s AA bronze medalist face tougher battle at AAA level

Like the new hardwood in Richview’s gym the seniors boys basketball team has a new outlook on OFSAA.

Coming off a 76-53 win over Etobicoke Rams, Jan. 10, the Saints twin towers, Patrick Street and T.J. Rutty shared their interest in revisiting the provincials after claiming bronze at the AA level last season.

“This year we’re AAA, which is going to be a little bit tougher but at the same time two schools go from Toronto so hopefully us and somebody else,” Street said.

“After last year’s strong finish … we just kind of hope we make it there and then do well when we get there,” Rutty added.

Heading into their match against Etobicoke CI, the squad was 4-0 while Etobicoke was at 3-1.

A lot of Richview’s attack was keeping pressure on the Rams, forcing turnovers. Rutty snagged four steals in the game, including an impressive open court run that led him to jamming in the easy deuce. Rutty camped out under the net to haul in 14 boards for the double-double.

Helping along the way was Street who contributed 16 points. Also in the double digits was Alex Lechintan, who scored 16 of his own and set up both Rutty and Street.

Though the Saints were up by 20 at the half, Rutty felt the team took too long to warm up.

“We played well, we had some hiccups here and there during the game but we worked through them.”

On the other side of the court, the Rams held their breath when starting guard Drew Walford left with a dislocated thumb. His coach took him to the hospital post game.

Teammate Danny Berkeley-Scott voiced Etobicoke’s concern, with the playoffs close at hand.

Still, Walford, who led the team with 19 points played most of the game, and Berkeley-Scott highlighted their ineffectiveness on pushing the ball out of their zone.

“We’re obviously out of shape with a two-week break,” he said of the Rams first game back from holidays. “I didn’t play over the break.

“I think at the end of the game we were close but our transition defence wasn’t good at all,” he added. “They got a big lead and we gave up on ourselves.”

Richview’s final game, set for Jan. 23 against Vaughan Road, will be a battle for the West Region’s East Division title. Though the game was played after press time, both Street and Rutty were ready for battle.

“That will probably be 5-0 versus 5-0 for first spot,” Street said. “So hopefully we can finish first and go into the post season with homecourt advantage and win the West as usual.

“Their game is a lot different than ours because they have a lot of guards, so it’s just fast-paced,” Rutty added.

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