AAA OFSAA Day 2: Defending Champs Anderson Advance, Along With Martingrove, Notre Dame & St. Theresa
WINDSOR, ON–With teams on the brink of elimination on day 2, the games were a lot closer with regards to score than yesterday and the level of intensity in the gym was extremely high. The action all started with Notre Dame and Vanier, where Grant Mullins would again come out with a game high 42 points to lead his team to the semi-finals.
Game 1 – Notre Dame vs Vanier
Despite the efforts of Sammy Ayisi, who hit three straight triples near the end of the game to bring his team within 8, Vanier would be sent home to watch the rest of AAA OFSAA online. Ravaughn Gayle pitched in for 18 of his own to add to his 12 rebounds.
Notre Dame had somewhat of a scare as Vanier was making a comeback in the final minutes. The Fighting Irish will need to capitalize on their leads by continuing to score even when they have a 10-14 point lead in the fourth quarter. Continuing to apply offensive pressure will ensure that the opposing team has lost their will to comeback.
Game 2 – Catholic Central vs Anderson
This was definitely the game of the day for many reasons; the first being the match up of Mychal Mulder on Dyshawn Pierre, next back and forth scoring and to top things off the Catholic Central Comets were playing in their home gym which was packed with Windsor faithful and Comet supporters.
Comets Head Coach, Peter Cusumano had made the game time decision of putting Shavon Gayle on Pierre. This would work for a short time until Pierre began to penetrate and finish around the basket. Next, the Comets went with a double team on Pierre and in this case he would dish out to his perimetre shooter Jacob Hutchcroft.
The focus in this game was all on Pierre, standing at 6’7, yet passing like a nifty point guard. He is without a doubt the best passer in this tournament regardless of size and position.
For the Comets, Devonte Pierce had an outstanding defensive game while posting 11 points off of put backs and finishes in the paint.
In the fourth quarter the crowd was chanting “overrated” at Pierre but he showed no emotion and continued to hit shots at the line and hit his open man. The defending champions, Anderson would take this game 58-53.
Game 3 – St. Theresa vs Holy Cross
After picking up a win against Martingrove in the first round, St. Theresa was playing with a high level of confidence; as were the Holy Cross Crusaders who had taken out Sherwood last night. This was another back and forth game that went down to the wire.
The interior presence of Derrick Stobbs played a huge role on the scoring of the Crusaders from within 10 feet. The Crusaders were forced to put up many three point attempts until they got Stobbs into foul trouble early on. With three fouls in the first two quarters Stobbs would have to take a seat until mid third quarter.
During this time, the nifty play of Crusaders senior leader Connor Shkimba would finish with many dazzling plays around the basket. Although Shkimba is undersized at 5’7, he has no fear of attacking on bigs and can finish with contact. Shkimba is also a huge threat if he spots up from deep.
The largest lead of the game belonged to St. Theresa at the end of the third quarter with 11. However, the Crusaders made a push that would awe the crowd and bring them within three in the final seconds. Shkimba would have the final three point attempt to tie but it was blocked and St. Theresa would go into the semi-finals with a 56-53 game. St. Theresa will have the challenge of facing off against Anderson.
Game 4 – Martingrove vs Herman
The last time we got a chance to see Herman play was at the St. Michael’s tournament in Toronto and it was a pleasure to see them in their hometown. There was no such thing as a hometown advantage while playing the Martingrove Bears; they came out hungry for this win and were not ready for the run to end.
The Bears allowed only five points for Herman in the first frame. It didn’t help that Herman would lose one of their leading scorers, Tyler Storie to a severe ankle sprain that would keep him out of the game. Storie was averaging 21 points over the first two games. Moreover, he was a major contributor in the rebounding stat category.
Rebounding belonged to 2012 forward, Gabriel Soicher who would rack up over 20 rebounds in this game. Soicher also lead his team in scoring with 17 points. Sukhpreet Singh, Steffon Watson, Connor Gilmore and Emmanual Owootoah all played aggressively and in unison.
The Bears came out of this one with a win, beating Herman 63-50. The leading scorer for Herman was Marko Kovac who had 19 points.