Glendale's senior boys basketball team took care of business last Thursday defeating Dorchester 70-9 in the next-to-last TVRA East game before the exam break.
With the win Tillsonburg improved to 7-0 and share the division lead with undefeated College Avenue, who would meet Tuesday in a head-to-head showdown for first.
"Winner of that game will be first," nodded Gemini coach Mike Demaree.
But CASS is not the only competition in the East.
"Huron Park's got a good team," said Demaree, recalling Tuesday's 45-32 win in Woodstock. "We had a close game against Ingersoll last week (28-23). And WCI, we played them just before Christmas. A fairly close game – it's always tough to play them there."
Glendale had opened the 2014-15 season winning the consolation championship at a Chatham-Kent tournament.
"A good weekend for us," said Demaree. "A very good tournament."
Tillsonburg lost its opener to the host Golden Hawks, but rebounded with some great efforts.
"They (Chatham-Kent) were a good team, they had a couple of fifth-year seniors. We also played (St. Thomas) St. Joe's, who we lost to in the WOSSAA finals last year. It was nice to avenge that loss. The guys were really up for that game and they played well – really well. That was one of our better games."
The Gemini followed that up winning the Stratford St. Mike's tournament, defeating College Avenue in the final. And more recently they were in Toronto for a HoopDome tournament where the finished 1-2.
"We won our first, then lost two. But they were good games, all within 10 points."
Having a team of mostly Grade 11s, and a Grade 10, they have a young senior basketball team. Physically, they just don't have the same mass.
"We've got the height, not the body size. They just outweigh us and it can be a little difficult to deal with. But that's only natural and it's what we expected coming into the season... that we would be able to play with teams, but have some trouble with big bodies. It's proven to be the case, but for the most part we've been able to overcome it so far. We are able to contest shots. We've got lots of guys with long arms and quickness."
WOSSAA is expected to feature teams loaded with Grade 12s and fifth-year players.
"More physically mature players, and those guys can cause problems," Demaree nodded.
They saw the impact size can make in Toronto where the officials 'let 'em play.'
"It was a physical game and it was good for the guys. We were in there 'fighting in the trenches.' There was a lot of body contact out top, a lot of body contact in the key. It forced us to play with more intensity and more aggressiveness. We always tell them to play that way, but until you're actually in that competitive position... then you see it start to come out of them."
Defensively, Demaree said the team has been amazing all year.
"Defence has been our strength. For the most part, we've been holding teams to 20-30 points and that keeps us in every game. When you can limit the other team's scoring, you're going to be in it a lot."
The senior boys return from exams to play back-to-back home games, Feb. 3 (CASS) and Feb. 5 (WCI).
"Then one more tournament in London (CCH) – and it's one of the better AA tournaments. Westminster's there, a team we could potentially play at WOSSAA. So hoping to get a chance to play them."
Glendale 70, Dorchester 9
Glendale scoring: Grayden Sinden 12, Steven Gilvesy 12, Trent Sinden 11, Ben Demaree 11, Jack Demaree 8, Kieran Rangel 6, Wes Hopper 4, Henry Vandenbroek 4
Glendale 36, Dorchester 10
Glendale scoring: Shane Bartman 12, Cassius Bailey 5, Brock Hussey 4, Caleb Vermeeren 4, Connor PePodesta 4, Connor Morris 3