Thornhill Beats Alma For Pound The Rock Championship, Kadeem Smithen takes MVP
SCARBOROUGH, ON–Overall, there was no more of a complete player than Kassius Robertson, but his teammate Kadeem Smithen took home MVP hardware in the Pound the Rock Invitational final against Alma Academy. The final score was 85-75, in a game with many momentum switches and lead changes. Christopher Boucher and Alma Academy came out aggressive and looked to get to the basket and draw contact while Thornhill settled for outside shooting that wasn’t going their way.
For the whole game, Alma’s long athletic bodies dominated the glass and cleaned up boards, however it was Thornhill’s disciplined defense that kept them in the game and helped them prevail in the second half. Much credit should be given to Smithen for his efforts on both ends of the floor (10 pts, 4 reb, 4 ast).
If he wasn’t grabbing boards he was either blocking/altering shots or coming up with steals on a sneak attack as the help defender. Smithen works very hard all game and shows a willingness to take criticism from teammates and coaches on areas of improvement. First half glitches, such as shot selection was something that he adjusted and came back in the second half composed and not forcing tough scoring chances.
For Alma and 6’10 Power Forward Boucher, nothing was really a tough shot unless he was getting fouled. The guards would throw it up and he would meet it in the air for an emphatic alley-oop.
Robertson’s outside shooting throughout the three day tournament was on point, he made at least three per game on very few attempts which kept his percentage high. Moreover his scoring surges off of steals which lead to fast break dunks gave Thornhill an edge in most games and helped them regain or increase leads.
Alma had a guard of their own that stuck out and was a major help and their hope in what was a potential comeback in the final seven minutes to try and take this championship. Jay Fequiere stepped up big time in the absence of their starting guard Nicky Desillen. Fequiere kept Thornhill on their toes and knocked down three consecutive triples to cut the lead to four points down the stretch, finishing the game with 20 points.
Some clutch shots from Marko Pirovic and Robertson kept the lead at a distance considering the time that was remaining. Pirovic went 50% from three point land, shooting 4-8. This stretch forward also did a good job in the second half on Boucher by not letting him catch the ball easily and making every possession tough for him.
After a back and forth rally between Thornhill and Alma, Thornhill came out with the win and would be announced the first champions of the 1st Annual Pound the Rock Invitational.
Special thanks goes out to the Triple Balance organization for hosting a loaded talent pool that will be serviceable at all levels, and a great overall inaugural event!