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Titans basketball coach Jim Hughes says his team’s ranking will change after first trip east

In this file photo, Dawson Greene (centre) gets ready to take his shot, while Noah LaCour-Thistle waits for a pass behind him during a passing/shooting drill at a Corner Brook Regional High Titans basketball practice earlier this season.
In this file photo, Dawson Greene (centre) gets ready to take his shot, while Noah LaCour-Thistle waits for a pass behind him during a passing/shooting drill at a Corner Brook Regional High Titans basketball practice earlier this season. - Star file photo

The Corner Brook Titans are ranked the No. 1 high school boys basketball team in the province based on the first set of rankings for the Hall of Fame Cup Elite Eight Basketball Championships, but coach Jim Hughes believes his team has some growing to do before they could be considered a legitimate contender this season.

Hughes was somewhat shocked to find the Titans at the top of the list, ahead of the powerful Holy Heart of Mary High School, who are listed in second place but clearly the team to beat this year with a number of Canada Games athletes in their starting line-up this season.

The rankings are based on game results handed into the Newfoundland and Labrador Basketball Association over the past two months and Hughes figures his team was ranked at the top because of scores they submitted were lopsided results from games they played against teams on the west coast.

He also thinks teams on the east coast might not have sent in results of all games and that would reflect the findings in the first set of rankings.

Weather conditions prevented the Titans from attending a tournament on the east coast prior to Christmas so Hughes figures the selection committee made their decisions without having seen them in action this year.

The Titans will head east this weekend for the first time, going for gold at the Waterford Valley High Invitational at the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Centre in St. John’s.

Realistically speaking, Hughes believes this year’s edition of the Titans is a young crew who should be ranked in the fourth or fifth spot, but he figures a true reflection of where the team should be ranked will come after the second rankings are released at the end of this month.

“We haven’t had our mettle tested yet,” Hughes said. “We’re a young team and we’re still trying to figure out what we do well and what we don’t do well.”

He’s looking forward to working with a group of players who are blessed with speed and high basketball IQs. He thinks he will have a better handle on his team after the weekend and he believes it will be a successful venture if the Titans can find their way into the semifinal round or even get a break or two and reach the final.

“We’ve got the ability. I just don’t know if we got the experience to really challenge quite yet because we’re still very young,” he said.

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