Grade Seven, Eight Championships Down to the Wire at Signature League Finals
As the final buzzer sounded at Turner Fenton North Secondary School both outcomes in the grade 7 and 8 division were shockers.
On one end you had an undefeated team finally taste the bitterness of a loss in the most inopportune time.
While, on the other, was a depleted squad missing three of their starting five, able to claw, scratch, and kick their way into immortality.
It wasn’t supposed to end this way, but as the old adage goes, the game isn’t played on paper.
Grade Seven Championship Match-Up
Behind Canadian Junior Academy big man Vytas Nausedas and his 13 points, including a game winning baseline jumper with 36.7 seconds left in the 4th the Mississauga Monarchs were able to knock off Brothers Keepers 43-41 to capture the inaugural Nike Signature League championship.
The Monarchs entered the contest by upsetting the number one ranked team in the division in SBA Willock 59-54 the night before.
Looking like what could have been a hangover from the big victory the night before, the Monarchs came out slow digging themselves a hole in the first half.
After a competitive first quarter, the second belonged to Brothers Keeper as they outscored Mississauga 13-4.
Aaron Aboonabi of Brother’s Keeper was especially hot as he hit three shots from long distance, scoring 9 of his 19 in the 2nd.
After a fairly even third quarter, the Monarchs were able to hold Brothers Keepers to 5 points in the fourth en route to the championship.
Kwadeem Herrold was a key player in the second half for the monarchs providing speed and key baskets at the point guard position.
Mississauga coach Gary Charvis had to have his team fully buy-in after learning 3 of their 5 starters would not participate in the post-season activities.
“I told them not to give up,” said coach Charvis. “We just kept emphasizing that next man up mentality, everyone has to have each others back.”
Both teams will now enter the AAU season looking to make a splash south of the border.
Grade Eight Championship Match-Up
Kiymani Mignott scored 28 points, Storm Bucknor added 19 and the Vaughan Panthers shocked undefeated Union East 76-69 to claim the grade eight Nike Signature League Championship.
Jaden Langley Thomas scored 18 points, while division MVP Elijah Fisher put in 16 for Union.
Fisher also had an enormous chase down block on one of the last possession of the game denying Kiymani Mignott an open lay-up and what would have been the game winning basket.
However, a couple of possession later, Union turned over the ball in the dying seconds of the 4th quarter allowing Vaughan to hit one of two free-throws, sending the game into overtime.
Kiymani Mignott scored 15 of his 28 points in the first half, and also converted on 4 of 6 three ponters.
Storm Bucknor had a hot start and end scoring 9 in the first quarter, then 10 in the fourth and overtime.
Vaughan defeated the Mississauga Monarchs, while Union East defeated UPlay in their semi final match-ups.
A special thanks dos out to the Signature League staff and organizers on a successful and competitive season.
Also to all the parents and coaches dedicating endless hours of their time into these young guns to allow them to fully unlock their potential.