Jr. Rim Rocker All-Stars
Shae Linton-Brown – MVP
Trejuan Ferron – Father Henry Carr
Carlo Dubria – Father Henry Carr
Denzell Wallace – MacNab
Shai Alexander – MacNab
Keshaun Saunders – Campion
Johnathan Kasongo – St. Roch
Isaiah Cromwell – Loyola
Kascius Small-Martin – Jean Vanier
Shakwan Barrett – Oakwood
Elijah Lostracco – Holy Trinity
MISSISSAUGA,ON–After getting beat by 25 in their first meeting in Father Henry Carr’s gym, at the Junior Crusader Classic, this has been a game that the MacNab Lions have long been waiting for. MacNab had ran through their pool and playoff games hungry for the championship game where they would have a chance to redeem themselves against FHC, and for a whole half they did just that. However, the second half belonged to the Crusaders, putting on full court pressure and coming out with the 88-81 final at the Xavier Jr. Rim Rocker Championship.
Hamilton’s MacNab got off to a hot start that would give them the biggest lead of the game which was 15. Their offensive execution was a sight to see; no shots were rushed, their tempo was set and shots were falling from everywhere.
Before answering any questions in post-game, head coach of the Crusaders, Rono Miller credited the Lions on their battle in the finals.
“MacNab is a very strong team, well disciplined, patient and they played hard. We were down 15 points at one point and I told the guys we got to dig deeper to pull out this win.”
Being down by 15 was a foreign feeling for Coach Miller and the Crusaders. They looked up at the scoreboard at the end of the second quarter to find themselves down 46-31.
The entire starting lineup got an earful from Miller at halftime for the defense that had them in foul trouble from unnecessary reach ins and hand checks, to missed assignments and rotations.
“I’m not saying they had to be less aggressive, but they had to use their feet more to stay in front of MacNab, beat them to their spots, if you get beat, sprint back and man up.”
Defensive stops by starting point guard Carlo Dubria gave them many opportunities to attack in transition and turn stops into points.
For most of the third it would be a trade-off; basket from Dubria, basket from MacNab’s Khaleem Bennett, who was a big matchup issue for the Crusaders.
Bennett is comfortable handling the ball on the wing and attacks strong, trying to finish above the rim. He and Brandon Kenyon are MacNab’s size and had a combined for 20 rebounds in the game, Bennett 10 and Kenyon 10.
FHC shooting guard Shae Linton-Brown’s ability to create off the dribble with an explosive first step also gave MacNab problems as he went for 11 straight points midway through the fourth.
Linton-Brown had shot all of his triples from the college three point line, but late in the fourth, when his defender would not step out on him he took it two feet deeper and fired off a bomb that would tie the game at 75 and take it to overtime.
In overtime he got to the line often and cleaned up from there making 7 of 10.
Linton-Brown finished with a game-high 27 points and took home tournament MVP.
“In the first half I wasn’t playing good, I wasn’t me, I was in foul trouble and letting my team down. I had to come back and step up for them. I accept all challenges but I’m not going to disrespect them (MacNab), they played well.”