2014 Mother Teresa Invitational Champions - Pine Ridge Pumas

2014 Mother Teresa Invitational Champions – Pine Ridge Pumas

SCARBOROUGH, ON–Point blank, these two teams were not who I anticipated would be in the finals of the Mother Teresa Invitational.

Pine Ridge and J.C Richardson had to be beat nationally ranked teams to get to the championship game.

J. C Richardson got passed #7 ranked Vaughan with a 69-62 win, and Pine Ridge went through both #8 ranked Eastern Commerce 75-71; before their overtime battle with Thornlea, #NPHTop25 honorable mention.

The Pine Ridge Pumas took care of business in the finals and had control of the game until the final buzzer sounded. A balanced contribution from their starters was ultimately the difference in the game. Four of five starters had at least 14 points in the end. All this considered, this still wasn’t a strong showing from the Durham region leader, who is now 10-0 in league play.

Turnovers came in abundance for both teams when full court pressure was on. They can expect a lot of pressure in the upcoming Silver Fox tournament in Hamilton.

The only lead J. C Richardson had in the game, came to them in the second quarter for about 30 seconds, before it switched back to the Pumas. Chase Vassell and Pine Ridge went on to take the MT Invitational 79-68.

Vassell had 14 points in the contest and is leading the GTA in scoring with the most 25+ point games, following the footsteps of Pine Ridge alumni Jamal Reynolds (Canisius Commit).

A big factor for the Pumas was Jay Williams because of the attention that he demanded in the low post and the size he had compared to JCR defenders. Williams cleaned up around the basket and finished the game with a team high 20 points.

Asides from the highlight reel that we know to be Marcus Ottey, the JCR team looked to be out of gas and drained mentally.

This was perhaps the sloppiest finals I had ever set my eyes on. A lack of offensive execution and poor shot selection was the sign in the first quarter that told the rest of the tale.

At times, there was no one who could stop Ottey from getting to the basket. He put the team on his shoulders and was crafty in finding a way down the lane. The high flying guard finished with a game high 29 points.

Jordan Henry, a 2017 standout lead guard, dispalyed skills beyond his age, and ended with 15 points.

As the season goes on, the Pumas will need Henry to play a more composed game at the point and control the tempo against teams that like to run and gun.

As mentioned, the next opportunity for both teams to make a mark is at the 43rd Silver Fox Invitational tournament which will take place in Hamilton from January 31 to February 1.


Elias Sbiet

Written by Elias Sbiet

Elias is the National Recruiting Analyst at NPH, keeping you up to date with Canadian basketball news on Canada's top prospects. You will find Elias at events across North America providing coverage and evaluating talent. He has been involved in the game as a scout, servicing NCAA, CIS and NBA teams for nearly a decade.

Website: http://www.twitter.com/Elias_NPH

3 thoughts on “Pine Ridge Pumas Capture Mother Teresa Invitational

  1. Jason Mckenzie says:

    Wow! I attended the game at Mother Teresa and I have a different opinion. Some of that sloppiness can be attributed to the 24 second shot clock. That is something that is usually not a part of the high school game. Some of the guys don’t play club and don”t have extensive experience with the shot clock.

    I disagree with your evaluation of these teams. They rightfully should be ranked on your national pole without a doubt. It is kind of foolish making comments that somehow they aren’t deserving and worthy to be ranked amongst your top 25 in Canada. Pine Ridge was on your initial pole. They beat Oakwood (yes! without Brody Clarke) but Oakwood still has a line up with other provincial level players so you really can’t downgrade the victory to much. J Clarke has won enough tournaments this year and are as battled tested as any team in the GTA.

    I am surprised by your comments because the one constant theme in the GTA this year is that “anybody can beat anybody” on any given day. There is not a great deal of difference between the number #1 team in the GTA and the others in the top ten. Oakwood, Henry Carr and Eastern Commerce are perennial powerhouses in high school basketball but they are not head and shoulders above the competition. I like what you guys do but sometimes I question your judgement. The game was sloppy no doubt but the back handed compliments are silly. Those were the two best teams this weekend. We’ll see what happens at the Silver Fox. J Clarke Richardson beat Vaughn. Vaughn only beat them by 2 the last time they played so it wasn’t that surprising. Vaughn is good as long as the 3 ball is dropping. The 3 ball was falling that day and they lost. The last three meeting between Pine Ridge and Eastern, Pine Ridge has won two of them and lost the other by a single point. What happened yesterday wasn’t surprising unless you haven’t been paying attention all season. Everyone is beating up on everyone! Campion, Father Goetz, Pine Ridge, J Clarke it just keeps going. St. Mikes is the only exception! They’ve been rock solid from beginning to end!

    Do the right thing NPH!! Pine Ridge and J Clarke should be on your national pole without a doubt. You may not like their style but they get the results. I am quite confident that you’ll low ball both of them when the rankings come out, however, Elias Sbiet I respectfully disagree. Parity is the name of the game this year and it seems it has been lost on you!

    1. Tariq Sbiet Tariq Sbiet says:

      I agree with Jason. I think if you look at the resume for both team’s (especially after MT Invitational) – they’ve earned respect. I’ll admit they surprised me, but they still got it done! Are they among the cream of the crop?? I don’t think they’ve proven that quite yet BUT they are certainly climbing and among the upper echelon of teams in the country. I had a chance to watch JC Richardson at Pinky when they won it, they looked really good. Fatigue could have been a factor in this one. Sorry bro, I’m going with Jason on this one. 

    2. Elias Sbiet Elias Sbiet says:

      Thanks for your comment Jason, always look forward to hearing back from our readers.

      I can’t place the “sloppiness” factor on the presence of the shot clock. A majority of these players have played with a shot clock on their respective club teams and have an understanding of how to control the pace and use the clock. I will cut some slack, because of the fatigue coming into play after duking it out in their previous games.

      Were we watching the same game? Each team had about 15 turnovers and a bunch of ill advised shots that were taken after just one touch. Overall, I feel that JC Richardson is able to play at one speed and has trouble adapting to teams that force them to play in a half court set. 

      I think both teams are on the path to deserving a ranking based off of their resume. I never have been a person to be dishing out “gimmes”, not going to start now either, everything is earned; I just don’t think that they are there yet. If this serves as a way to motivate them then so be it. 

      If you see me in the gym, please do introduce yourself would love to chat in person as well. All the best.

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