The Notre Dame Catholic School senior boys' basketball team capped off a stellar season this week as they made it all the way to the championshp game at the Simcoe County championships.
Notre Dame started its "incredible" season by finishing in second place at the Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School Invitational Tournament.
"This was just the start of all the success that the boys had this year," said JJ Healy, who coached the team with Sandra Heitzner.
The local team also shone in the regular season against Orillia elementary schools, rolling to an impressive 6-1-1 record. Their only loss was by a single basket.
The strong regular season qualified Notre Dame for the Area Tournament in Orillia.
In that event, Notre Dame won their first game, then beat an undefeated team in the semifinals before losing by three points in the final. However, the top two teams qualified to go to the Simcoe County tournament.
At the Simcoe County tournament against the top teams from the entire region, Notre Dame continued their "dream season," said Healy.
Notre Dame opened the Simcoe County tournament with a 29-14 victory over Admiral Collingwood.
The Orillia school then had to play in two straight elimination games. They won both, beating Tosorontio Central Public School 27-14, before earning a hard-fought 29-21 decision over St Monica’s in the quarter-finals.
The two wins moved Notre Dame into the semifinals, where they clashed with a very good team from Alcona Glen.
"We played a tight back-and-forth game, winning 35-32 to put us in the finals," said Healy.
"To make it to the county championship tournament is a big deal for our school," said Healy. "To make it to the finals of the Simcoe County tournament ... well that is something special."
Playing their third game in three hours, Notre Dame fell just short of victory In the championshp against a very strong team from Holly Meadows Elementary School.
The Notre Dame senior boys' team ended up placing second overall in Simcoe County, receiving a banner and medals recognizing their success.
"That is second place out of 110 schools," noted Healy, adding it's the best-ever finish at the county level for Notre Dame.
"Sandra Heitzner and I could not be more proud of our team and the effort and leadership they showed all season long," said Healy. "These were a very respectful and teachable group of boys that we both had the pleasure of coaching."