NPH Top Performers
Father Henry Carr
- Tanveer Bhullar- 14pts, 11rbs, 3blks
- Brandon Chevannes- 11pts, 5rbs, 2stls
- Jalen Poyser- 11pt, 5rbs, 2stls
- Dillon Brooks- 9pts, 3rbs, 3stls
- James Sylvester- 16pts, 9rbs, 3stl
- Tyler Stone- 14pts, 8rbs, 8blks
- Mohamed Camara- 11pts, 4rbs, 4ast
TORONTO,ON–In a highly anticipated pre-season match up between the top two high school teams in the nation, NPH #1-ranked Father Henry Carr and #2 Eastern Commerce took the floor at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in a showcase of elite talent and depth from both sides. In the end, it was FHC that claimed the early season bout, picking up the victory 61-54.
Eastern Commerce was without 2016 star guard Justin Jackson, but that did not mean the team would not battle. As expected, the intensity level was high and defensive pressure was applied by each team.
The biggest lead of the game for the Saints was at the end of the first quarter when they were up 16-12. Head Coach Paul Melnik had his crusaders apply full court pressure a few minutes before halftime, which forced turnovers and led to transition buckets giving them a 31-24 lead to start the second half.
Two very big pieces that kept the Saints in the game were James Sylvester and Tyler Stone who both brought high energy and defensive standards for their team; Sylvester picking off steals and Stone rejecting play after play.
Sylvester registered a game-high 16 points and went on scoring surges in the fourth quarter to keep the Saints within striking distance. He displayed a tough to guard pull up jumper, tight ball handling and acrobatic moves in the lane.
Stone was a pleasure to watch as he displayed his versatility, nailing jumpers from the outside, while also working hard in the interior on both ends. The 6’7 forward looks like he’s set for a major year with a bigger role to fill and increased confidence.
EC missed eight free throws in the final few minutes of play which could have contributed to a major turn of events. Instead, Crusaders point guard Brendon Chevannes iced the game with two free throws of his own.
Huntington Prep transfer, Tanveer Bhullar had a good night statistically, putting up 14 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks. The big man is looking more mobile than ever and will be a solid contributor for Coach Melnik and his squad. We foresee Bhullar gaining speed and mobility while playing more minutes and gaining confidence. His lack of toughness is a quality that has been criticized, however on this team he has a blank slate to work with. If he is to take his game to new heights, he MUST become more aggressive on the floor and dominate the interior.
The Crusader cast requires so much attention that other teams will have problems dealing with their depth. Dillon Brooks, Jalen Poyser and Ty Stewart-Nelson are now playing at the varsity level, coming off an undefeated year against fellow underclassmen last season. That fire is still burning within and they’re hungry for more of that dominance.
“We’re not really worried about rankings, we’re just trying to focus on having a perfect season and winning OFSAA. I mean, its good that we beat Eastern Commerce but that’s not what the main goal is,” expressed Brooks after the game.
These two teams will meet again before OFSAA in tournament play, where they will be better acquainted and adjusted to their teammates. To be exact, both teams will play in the 2012 Early Bird Classic at FHC November 8-10, with NPH #3-ranked Sir Allan MacNab (Hamilton, ON) joining the party.