Etobicoke Elite Thunder Jam Day One Recap!
TORONTO, ON–The first day of the Etiobicoke Elite Thunder tournament hosted 12 teams in the AAA division and eight teams in the AA division. Coaches and scouts from all over the OUA made their way out to get a look at the remaining uncomitted talent in Ontario. This was an excellent opportunity to get familiar with a few unknowns that the NPH team had not previously encountered.
The host team, Etobicoke Thunder Elite, had a solid outing in their first game, coming out hard with a full court press that devastated Guelph CYO in the first half. In this win, every player that suited up for the Thunder had scored at least six points, yet no one had more than 12 giving them a well balanced score sheet and a victory that came from a full team effort.
The Thunder Elite’s second game of the night against Blessed Sacrament – Ravida was entirely different from earlier in the day. After having their way with Guelph, players came into this game very lax and were not taking their opposition seriously. It was for games such as that one that they needed their most disciplined ball handler, Jason Lodenquai, who was sidelined by a minor hamstring injury. Lodenquai is perhaps their most composed player and has strong play making abilities. He is expected to return to the lineup in approximately two weeks.
Even though the high flying Matthew Taylor and Donnavan Hastings produced a few highlights, they were unable to get their team to play in sync. Quite bluntly, it seemed as if some guys had their own agenda, which in turn disrupted the flow of the offense.
A few baskets by Jovan Leamy at the end of the fourth gave the Thunder Elite a chance to make it a game, however they would be forced to foul and hope for some misses at the line that did not come. The host team would lose 59-52 and be eliminated from the medal rounds.
Waterloo Wildhawks – A team that stifled opponents with speed in the backcourt and size in the frontcourt. Juwon Miller and Alex Thompson are pesky defenders that often finish off their steals or generally put pressure on ball handlers. We can expect to see the wildhawks isolate for big man, Cory Kenning as his size and brute force can get teams in foul trouble meanwhile not having backup at the post position. Adam Voll has been receiving NCAA attention from St. Bonaventure and with good reason. If he is not blocking a shot he is surely altering it and likely ending up with the rebound. Voll has been cleaning up around the basket on second chances and has shown an adequate jump shot.
Barrie Royals – Their offence runs through their 6’7 Small Forward, Matt Plunkett, who has recently uncommitted from Laurentian and reopend his recruiting list. He battles aggressively inside for rebounds and has a nifty up-and-under move which he can use on both sides of the basket. He is tough to defend because he invites his defenders out to the three where he can knock down shots efficiently. The Royals will be looking to get a little more help offensively from Thomas Chalmers on championship day.
Blessed Sacrament Yellow Jackets-Ravida – This is a hard nose team that is learning to mesh with each other, yet is hitting the deck for loose balls and being vocal with one another. There biggest scoring option is Cudjoe Masuka, who no one has been able to contain from getting to the hole due to his lengthy wingspan and athleticism. On the block the 6’6 towers, Michael Worden and James Miles have a strong defensive presence and are active offensively registering between 7- 10 points per game. One of the point guards for the Yellow Jackets, Matt Ravida has been a facilitator, scorer and defensive stopper, doing whatever the team needs of him.
Burlington Skyhawks – Surely you’ve seen or heard the name Grant Mullins before…well you are about to hear it a whole lot more. Mullins picked up where he left off at AAA OFSAA and has been on fire for the Skyhawks, leaving many first time fans in awe. A huge help for Mullins has been Trevor Thompson as he’s been muscling his way into the paint as well as getting his shooting game on.
Daniel Dooley is in a paragraph on his own simply because of the progression that he has made and is continuing from the beginning of the high school season. He started off as a spot up shooter and now is able to create for himself and has added a penetration game which allows to create for others by kicking out to his fellow shooters. It would be a terrible idea to leave him with any space from deep as he would pull without hesitation.
Deontay Scott is a prospect that we will be keeping tabs on tomorrow as this is our first encounter with him and are still familiarizing with the elements of his game. On another note, Jordan Scott is out with a fractured wrist, however will be another sniper once he’s back in action.