The 38th Annual Humber Classic Invitational is in the books after a weekend of some of the top prep and high school programs in the country facing off.
As the dust settled, it was the #25 nationally ranked St. Francis Xavier Tigers, and the #9 RISE Prep Wolfpack that took home the gold in their respective divisions.
The road to the gold medal game for Xavier was a dominant performance in the high school division, as they had won both their first round and second round games by an average of 34.5 points. But, going into the championship round, they would be matched up against an equally impressive St. Margaret d’Youville squad, that had been a little more battle tested heading into the final matchup on Saturday.Both being members of ROPSSAA, these two schools have a long history of matchups against each other, normally with OFSSAA implications at stake.
It would show in the first half as neither squad could really get going offensively, settling for fast break buckets off of turnovers.
Then, in the second half, it became the Tyrell Vickers show for Xavier, as he began to heat up from the perimeter and continued to run the floor for fast break buckets. Vickers would finish with a game high 33 points, and the Tigers would lead 44-38 going into the fourth.
From that point, it came down to who would make the fewest mistakes in the final frame. Despite a balanced scoring attack from the starting five of d’Youville, with Jaylen Roberts (17), Tajon Moulton (13), and Rashaawn Tapper (19) all finishing in double digits, the Panthers were just not capable of closing the gap in time, as Xavier would take the gold by a final of 64-60.
Despite the loss, d’Youville has once again shown that they will be a team to watch throughout the entire year, and can be considered a threat to knock the reigning #25 ranked Tigers, off of their ROPSSAA throne by season’s end.
St. Francis Xavier’s Tyrell Vickers claimed tournament MVP honours with his gold medal game performance, while St. Margaret d’Youville’s Alvin Onabolu picked up defensive MVP honours.
The second and final Gold medal game of the night pitted two top 10 nationally ranked prep programs facing off, #3 ranked Ridley College out of St. Catherines, Ontario against #9 ranked RISE Prep out of Brantford, Ontario.
Both teams had been through the ringer to get to the finals, with RISE having already knocked off #4 nationally ranked Crestwood Prep to reach the gold medal game, while Ridley had to contend with a fast running #14 Vaughan Prep program that stayed with them right until the end before Ridley could fully pull away.
Two contrasting styles of play were on display in this one. For Ridley, point guard Alex Root, starting in the place of injured Noah Warton, managed to consistently get the ball in the post to Jaden Bediako, who absolutely torched the lower block defense of RISE to the tune of 31 points on 14 of 20 shooting, along with 16 rebounds. Bediako was also getting it done on the defensive end, record a game high six blocks, while the rest of both teams combined, managed only five.
RISE was not to be outdone though, as the three-headed monster in the backcourt of Miguel Tomley (23), Rahmir Moore (34), and Josh Noton (11), combined for 68 of RISE’s 88 overall points in the game. Noton was also an assist shy of a double-double, finishing with 9.
The two contrasting styles led to a wildly entertaining game, that featured four lead changes and seven ties. Unfortunately for Ridley, the white hot three-point shooting of Tomley and Moore was too much at the start of the fourth, and RISE would take home the gold with a 88-71 statement win over higher ranked Ridley.
Tournament MVP honours went to Miguel Tomley, who also had a 46-point outburst earlier in the tournament against London Basketball Academy, while Jaden Bediako picked up the Defensive MVP honours after a Shaq-like performance in the paint throughout the tournament.
The win, along with their earlier victory over #4 Crestwood Prep, has put the rest of the country on notice that RISE will be hear to stay in the top 10 for the forseeable future, and just like their namesake, they are beginning to do just that in both the OSBA standings, and the national rankings.