The inaugural Nike Signature League Championship took place last night in Brampton, Ontario where UPlay gutted out a 89-87 win over Scarborough Basketball Association (SBA-Gipson) in the 9th grade finals.
A level playing field, competitive environment and rowdy fans made for a prime showing of the talent that is yet to come out of Canada.
Kordell Charles, considered among the top ninth graders, scored 29 points, Jonathan Avgousti added 22 to get the win.
Charles was also named finals MVP for the contest.
For SBA, Brendan Ocampo had 29 points and Noel Tesfa potted 25 points in the loss.
Ocampo and Tesfa have been primary options for SBA all season. Both are equipped with skills that allow them to score from anywhere on the floor as well as get teammates involved. Both being guards, there is a calm temperament and intangibles that will translate at the next level. To see it at this early age is a very positive sign.
Despite being down at the half, UPLAY was able to use their quick start at the beginning of the final two quarters to push through.
The aforementioned Charles scored 12 of his 29 points in the final quarter using his length and athleticism to go coast-to-coast on several possessions, and finish over top of opponents.
Johnathan Avgousti did most of the same, scoring 8 of his 22 in the fourth as the 6’3 guard was able to get into the paint making an array of floaters while getting to the line consistently.
10th Grade UPlay Championship
Behind Paris Shand’s 24 points, and Davidson Jenn’s 14, UPLAY survived a late push for Yes II Success (YIIS), holding for a 77-74 win to win the grade 10 signature league championship.
After a disastrous third quarter that saw UPLAY give up their lead after only scoring 5 points in the frame, Shand came to play in the fourth, getting to the free-throw line 8 times.
Using his strength, mobility, and length, Paris was unstoppable near the end, attacking from the top of the key on dribble penetration and using either hand to finish in the lane.
Shand was named MVP of the Signature League Finals.
Scott Jenkins lived up to the last name that his brother Sam had built up at the high school level with his 3 point shooting. Jenkins pulled some deep threes without hesitation in the championship.
Keon Ambrose-Hilton netted 22, as Zach John added 12 for YIIS. Both were able to defend in help and keep there man in front to make stops throughout.
— Tariq Sbiet (@Tariq_NPH) May 7, 2017
Ambrose-Hilton and Daimar Dyall-Richards at 6’6 often contested shots. The combo have proven to have a dynamic range of skills to offer.
YIIS has the length, strength and athleticism combined with a gel that can see this team move into another Championship contending spot next season.