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Warren leads Royals to five-point win

Jalen Warren and his Bishop Reding teammates had suffered tight losses in two of three previous encounters with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish this season.

The fourth meeting, in Tuesday’s Halton Tier 1 junior basketball final at Sheridan College, looked like it would end like the first three — two points or less separating winner and loser — when the first half ended 31-30 in the Irish’s favour.

Warren, the star guard, messed up that scenario.

After managing only four points in the first half, he led the Royals to a 65-60 triumph with 18 more for a 22-point night.

“We wanted to get this one bad,” Warren said after celebrating with his teammates during medal presentations. “We knew we could beat them. They got us the last two times so we decided to win it when it counts.”

Warren had some help.

Except for a big three-pointer from teammate Dominique Williamson, all of the Royals’ second-half scoring came from Warren and Grade 9er Jalen Mason, who had a dozen points to conclude a 16-point afternoon.

Royals coach Tanya Tatti said that having Notre Dame’s starting guards in foul trouble opened up numerous possibilities for her charges in the late stages.

That would be, Jaylen (yes, Jaylen) Passley and Kurtis Page of the Irish. Passley managed a game-high 24 points before exiting.

“(The two foul outs) hurt us,” Notre Dame coach Mark Freeman said. “We couldn’t stop (Warren) going up the middle in the paint. Passley, he wants the ball, demands the ball, and he’s only in Grade 9 so he’s got a bright future. Kurtis is phenomenal, and we lost both in the fourth quarter.”

The Irish actually outscored the Royals by a point in the fourth, which was all right with the Milton crew. It had a six-point lead going into the final quarter.

“Tonight, they played better,” Freeman admitted.

Other Royals points came from Aryan Sharma with 11, Hope Agbolosoo and Williamson with seven each and Sooriya Jayandan with two.

Collecting the other Irish points were Vaughn Lucyk with 19, Page with five, Matt Foster with four, Bryce O’Farrell and Brock Annandsingh with three each and Callum Kenny with two.

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