Mikyle McIntosh Drops 35, Russell Baker & Team Toronto Win Thriller, Michael Provenzano is Ballin’
Compiled by Elias & Tariq Sbiet – Follow @Elias_NPH @Tariq_NPH and @NorthPoleHoops
SCARBOROUGH, ON–Mikyle McIntosh of 22 FT. Academy is the main attraction in the tournament as the high-major prospect lead his team to victory over Northern Kings, registering a game-high 35 points. The scary part is that Big Mac didn’t even have what you would call a strong game, however stepped it up in the final minutes when the Kings threatened and took the lead. McIntosh is an exciting player to watch due to his great athleticism and versatility. The 6’6 wing currently has offers from Miami, UCLA and a chunk of mid-majors.
Peter Rusic was another bright spot for 22 FT Acad, as he sniped long range jumpers, while also scoring off curls and remaining aggressive offensively.
On the flip side it was James Sylvester one of the top ranked JUCO prospects in the nation who lead the Northern Kings. Sylvester put up 34 points in the loss as nobody could stay in front of the slick, explosive guard.
Russell Baker & Team Toronto Win Thriller
After taking some time off to recover from a knee injury, Russell Baker is back with a vengeance to participate in the 1st annual Pound The Rock Invitational with Team Toronto. Baker and a team full of 2015 prospects, meaning the youngest team in the tournament, pulled off an upset over a strong AIA (Athlete Institute Academy).
From taking a look at the draw, AIA would be considered a top three team in this tournament along with Alma Academy of Quebec and 22ft Academy (Kentucky); they looked like it for the first 25 minutes of the game as they held a lead of 16 at one point. The tenacious youngsters came back and stole it at the buzzer with a three point shot by Saul Sanchez off of a very unselfish extra swing from D’wan Williams.
The first half belonged to Gentrey Thomas and his academy squad as he came out lighting it up from well beyond the arc and attacked the rim with authority. Thomas and Brent Carey had their long distance line on hold and showed how multi-dimensional they could be.
At times it seemed like AIA was playing too comfortable and felt like they had it in the bag, however at no point was the game out of reach, not when you have a group with the warrior mentality that these guys had. For the final four minutes, while down 12, Team Toronto chased down every loose ball, followed shots for second chances and played high pressure defense.
They key to this win was that all five players were involved in every play as the ball swung and got at least three different touches before a shot attempt. This showed on the stat sheet as Baker finished with a team high 23 points, Williams following with 18, Sanchez with 17 and Michael Provenzano with 11. This was the real rising stars game as nine out of 10 players on the roster registered at least 4 points.
Michael Provenzano Ballin’
We will not shy away from it; Michael Provenzano has been an NPH favourite for some time, and for good reason. Once again, the 5’11 lead guard proved why he is one of the top point guards coming out of Canada. He started the day playing with a London team that he carried to a close loss against a strong Saint John Kilmarnock squad. Following the game, he rushed to the next gym where he played with the aformentioned Team Toronto where they picked up the victory. Leadership, work ethic, IQ, speed, shooting ability, Provenzano is a coaches dream, a lot because he is a coach on the floor.
Stay tuned for more coverage of the first annual Pound The Rock Invitational on NPH!
Alma Academy 107 York Avengers 43 (Jay Fequiere 21)
Grassroots 92 Alma Academy II 61 (Kenrick Hudson 21)
Markham 94 REDA Brampton 89 (Jamal Thomas 18)
REDA Waterloo 93 GTA Elite 64 (Abendego Lufile 26)
Team Toronto 88 Athlete Institute 87 (Russell Baker 24, Dwan Williams 18)
Thornhill 103 Metro 75 (Troy Reid-Knight 27, Marko Pirovic 25, Kassius Robertson 23)
SJK 92 London 85 (Michael Provenzano 36, Connor Therrien 23)
22Ft Academy 88 Northern Kings 83 (MiKyle McIntosh 35, Peter Rusic 28)