What time is it?
It’s the way Notre Dame opens every game in the team huddle, and in the Peel Semi-finals against perennial power Edmund Campion, with an OFSAA bid on the line, they proved that it was indeed their time.
You never have to question their effort; the way that these Notre Dame kids compete, the chip on their shoulder is so evident.
“We’re here to prove a point, we need respect. It’s not just the D’Youville’s and the Campion’s, we’re also competitive in this league. We have to take that respect,” Notre Dame PG Trevon Mollison told NPH.
That they did.
Entering the semi-final, ND was 2-0 against Campion in regular season play, and had a rowdy home crowd behind them to help lift the Knights 56-51 in a nail-biter.
“Anytime our crowd is with us, it feels like 100 people are on our team,” said Josh Baker, who put in 13 points for Notre Dame.
In speaking with the Knights nucleus in the post-game, composed of Mollison, Baker, Michael Asemota and Frank Agyemang, it was clear that this is a tight-knit team, that has really grown over the season.
It was evident that this Knights team is a brotherhood, illustrated following the buzzer, where a large, rowdy crowd rushed the entire team in celebration.
“Even though we’re celebrating now, this is just the start,” explained ND power forward Frank Agyemang, who had 10 points and held down the interior.
“Everyone has an achilles,” he continued, referring to the opposition ahead.
Josh Baker jumped in saying, “we’re not scared of anybody, we know that if we play that way we just did, we can beat any team.”
Michael Asemota, the 2016 star guard lead the way for the Brampton squad with a game-high 19 points, while displaying advanced playmaking ability for his age. Asemota spoke about the inclining confidence of the team throughout the season.
“When we saw that we can compete with D’Youville earlier in the season, we said hey, we can do this.”
And with each victory over Campion, the Knights’ conviction grew.
“These guys aren’t hungry, they’re starving,” stated ND Head Coach Geoff Edwards, who has been at the school for over 10 years.
Edwards went on to say that this win was the biggest in their program history, while speaking to their “underdog mentality.”
“We’re a well-balanced team,” said Edwards. “We have a chip on both shoulders.”
Not only will Notre Dame participate in OFSAA, but they will also have a chance to compete for the Peel Region championships, against the aforementioned D’Youville Panthers on Monday night at Sheridan College.
Coach Edwards will be making his second OFSAA appearance in his time at Notre Dame, while of course, this group enters their first provincial championship experience.
“They want the big stage…here it is.”