NPSAA Showdown Day 1: Jamal Reynolds, Johneil Simpson, Kashrell Lawrence + more!
Game 1 ROCK Academy vs. PHASE 1 Red
NPH Top Performers
- Jamal Reynolds– 20 points
PHASE 1 Red
- William Maylor- 15 points
TORONTO,ON–In the opening game of the showcase it didn’t take long for ROCK Academy to run away with an impressive 66-37 victory over the overmatched PHASE 1 Red squad.
A concerted effort to push the ball on every possession led the ROCK to capitalize on the inexperienced backcourt of the younger PHASE 1 Red.
“Not necessarily [a focus] to fast break but at least take advantage of the opportunities that were there for us. Defensively we wanted to make sure to maintain the pressure and if that caused steals we were going to try and really get down the floor as fast as we can and capitalize on some easy baskets,” said Keith Vassell head coach of ROCK Academy.
If there was one thing that led to the demise of PHASE 1, it was the fast break.
In the first quarter alone, ROCK Academy came away with 10 points off of transition. The inability of PHASE 1 to execute in the half court was the cause for the easy baskets, as the younger team settled for long outside jumpers and committed careless turnovers when penetrating to the rim.
When not pushing the pace, the Durham-based ROCK looked to get the ball inside the paint and use their athleticism to get easy baskets or fouls.
Though the second half saw PHASE 1 recovering back to prevent the transition baskets, ROCK adjusted and began rotating the ball around for open looks on the perimeter in half court sets.
An impressive display of athleticism by the ROCK Academy saw Tevaughan Stewart and Josh Codenera finding Jamal Reynolds for a handful of spectacular plays in the open floor.
The lone bright spot for PHASE 1 Red was the shooting of William Maylor who consistently knocked down outside jumpers, finishing the game as the only PHASE 1 player with double-digits.
Game 2 PHASE 1 Black vs. Brampton Hype
NPH Top Performers
PHASE 1 Black
- Johneil Simpson – 26 points
- Reece Brooks – 14 points
An offensive downpour from Johneil Simpson led PHASE 1 Black to an easy 79-57 victory over Brampton Hype.
The senior forward effectively shot the ball from the field to lead all scorers with a game-high 26 points – the most points of anyone on Day one.
“I thought he played really well in that second half. He was the guy we were trying to get the ball to in the high post, he’s a very dynamic player. He can score the ball an assortment of ways, he’s got a really big repertoire and I think he did a good job of showing that,” said Charles Hantoumakos PHASE 1 Black head coach.
The first quarter saw both teams trading baskets, looking to figure out their opponent, similar to two boxers in the early rounds. For all the feeling out PHASE 1 Black managed to establish their noticeable advantage on the inside during the second frame, taking a 36-29 lead into halftime.
Simpson scored most of his 13 first half points in the paint and D’Adrian Allan, who finished with 12 points, was either finishing around the hoop or getting fouled.
Looking to counter that size advantage, Hype switched to a 2-3 zone to start the second half and it seemed to be effective. The switch on D seemed to disrupt PHASE 1 in half court sets, with turnovers coming in bunches on errant entry passes.
Yet the comeback was short-lived, an injury suffered by Reece Brooks, who finished with a team-high 14 points, turned the tide for the surging Brampton side, while sidelined his absence hurt the Hype in establishing their half-court offense with no one capable of bringing up the and allowed PHASE 1 to build on its lead as the.
If not for the effective scoring of Simpson, PHASE 1 may have found themselves reeling after three quarters of play, but nine points by the six-foot-four forward maintained PHASE 1 Blacks lead, 57-49 entering the final frame.
“We started to come together at the end of the second half,” said Hantoumakos. “It was one pass, one shot, so we started playing like a team, moving the ball, getting the ball into the high post was a really big difference in the second half.”
Game 3 Metro Prep vs. REDA Black
NPH Top Performers
- Justin Jarvis – 18 points
- Kashrell Lawrence – 22 points
In the most exciting action of the evening, REDA Black outlasted Metro Prep in a 63-61 overtime nail biter.
Down the stretch both sides had runs to trade the lead but REDA began hitting long range shots as Connor Wood led the late charge.
A last minute put back by Kashrell Lawrence, who scored a game-high 22 points, seemingly sealed the victory as REDA clung on to a narrow five point lead with less than 30 seconds to play.
That was before a little controversy quickly changed that.
A pair of free throws by Justin Jarvis and then a turnover by REDA gave Metro Prep one last chance to tie the game and send it to overtime.
As the clock expired and the horn sounded, Javon Leamy rose up for a three-pointer and drilled it with three defenders in his face.
Though it appeared the ball didn’t leave his hand before the final buzzer the referees counted the basket and an additional three minutes were put on the clock.
In the extra time REDA would control much of the action as two shots from beyond the arc pushed the lead to six and it wouldn’t be squandered despite a similar scenario to the one that ended regulation with Jarvis on the free throw line with just under 30 seconds to play.
Yet it was too little, too late, as the scrappy Metro Prep team fell short in the end.
In the end the fantastic finish sets up an intriguing Day 2, with every team in action.
-REDA HS defeated AGBU, 84-69– Mitchell Wood 22 points, Arthur Alajabian 18 points
-REDA Red defeated Tri-City Prep, 77-57 —Martin Dixon Green 20 points, Cudjoe Masuka 22 points