Competition that is foreign to the Sun Youth gymnasium usually is weary of how enclosed the walls are upon arrival. However on day three they begin to have an attachment with the playing field. The intimacy of the crowd, the history and culture, and the community feel of basketball in Montreal.
In this case Vermont was the foreign team involved, they won over the crowd and the Championship in their first trip to Canada with a 101-97 win over John Abbott.
The MTL fan base was appreciative of the high level competition over the four days. Vermont’s trio of Christian David (tournament MVP), Bruce Brown and Tyrique Jones had the fans on their feet from some of the dunks they through down. The combined athleticism of these three is a sight to see. Take this in as an example…
Vermont came into the finals as a heavy favourite after handling Thetford fairly easily from the end of the third quarter onward in the semi-final match up.
John Abbott Very Underestimated
John Abbott is considered a top CEGEP in Quebec and has a core that has been together three years. Even with this in mind, the general consensus was that the finals between Vermont and John Abbott, wouldn’t be much of a game.
The team doesn’t necessarily pass the look test when compared to Vermont, but this CEGEP squad showed what they’re about. This was their second trip to the finals after falling to Vanier in last year’s Sun Youth Holiday Invitational.
They ran a flex offense with defenders getting hit by a screen every time they turned, and as a result, Abbott was able to get clean shots off with usually four feet of space.
Justin Owen Renwick, Keevon Small and Daniel Cayer combined for 65 points in the loss and were instrumental in getting their team this far.
They all have a lengthy list of CIS programs recruiting them. Carleton, Ryerson, Bishop’s, Nippissing, Concordia and others were in attendance taking in the action.
Owen Renwick went on a run with his three ball in the second quarter but the momentum was diffused by Christian David as he answered back.
It was a back and forth affair with Cayer hitting timely shots every time Vermont seemed like they would run away with a lead. Cayer hit his runners with targeted lead passes and would weave through traffic to finish around hoop.
Bruce Brown’s dunk switched the momentum in Vermont’s favour and that was the game.
Pat Fisher, Tyrique Jones, Christian David, Bruce Brown and Bailey Pataella were consistent all weekend. Vermont is now riding the wave and are 10-0 going into the break.
Christian David Could Dominate Prep Scene in America
Christian David is looking like a stud. The level of aggression in his game has improved drastically. Vermont really brought out the beast in that kid. As previously mentioned from the trip to Connecticut, Bruce Brown is credited for the fire that David has been playing with as of late.
The Canadian 2017 combo guard is starting to embrace his role as a lead contributor and go to scorer. With one more year left on the prep scene, it is really intriguing to see how he continues to develop mentally, because from a skill standpoint there is no worry.
With his skill set, he could play up to 4 positions effectively. He can handle the ball with control and speed. He has a knack for rebounding, and has a good feel around the basket. His vision in transition, and in the half court set, are on point. Christian’s shot is a smooth thing, throughout this tournament his three ball fell like water. David was the leading scorer at halftime, finishing with 26 points.
Christian David is learning the art of domination. With seniors moving on to the NCAA level, he has an opportunity to embrace a role as a leader at Vermont Academy.