NPH #10-Ranked Downey, who was Metro’s leading scorer during the regular season, recorded 50 points in Cole Harbour’s 103-79 win over Dartmouth.
“Our defense got us going early on,” said Cole Harbour Head Coach, Anton Berry. “We made Dartmouth turn it over and it led to some easy transition baskets. Then Mandrez just decided to take over the game. His teammates realized that he had the hot hand and made sure to get him the ball.”
Randez Simmonds scored 14 points, and Roberto Beals chipped in with 13 points for Cole Harbour, while juniors, Justin Beals (20) and JJ Wilson (16) were the leading scorers for the Dartmouth Spartans.
Coach Berry is excited and ready for a tough final against the Citadel Phoenix. “Citadel is a well coached, disciplined team. We just have to pressure them when they are running their offensive sets and then execute on offense. Also, we have to contain their point guard D.J Smith. He is very capable of taking a game over himself,” said Berry.
That’s an understatement! Downey is a scoring maching with the ability to create his own shot and put the ball in the basket in a variety of ways. An asepct of his game that will need to improve is his size and strength. However, at this point, none of that matters.
Senior Point Guard and #33 NPH-Ranked Deontay “DJ Smith led Citadel with 29 points including three game changin second half triples. Smith also added 6 assists and 5 rebounds. “It was probably my best shooting game of the season,” said Smith, who averaged 19.6 points per game entering the game for the Phoenix. “There are only a few games left in my high school career. I’ve got to go out with a bang!”
When asked tomorrow’s final, DJ downplayed the significance of his matchup with Cole Harbour’s star point guard Mandrez Downey. “It isn’t about our matchup,” said Smith. “It’s a team game. We are going to have to play even better than we did today, if we want to win tomorrow. Start strong, finish strong. It’s playoff basketball got to give it your all”
Sophomore, Jayden Nordin chipped in with 20 points including 4 three-pointers in the win for Citadel. Derico Tynes added 18, including a thunderous two handed slam during a fourth quarter run that would seal the victory for Citadel.
Auburn’s Shaquille Smith, who will be suiting up for the Acadia Axemen next season, had 23 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 block in the loss.
Dartmouth will now face Auburn in the third place game. Citadel will take on Cole Harbour at 5:00 p.m. at in today’s final. Both games will be held at the St. Mary’s Tower. The top three teams from Metro will advance to provincials next weekend in Truro, while the fourth and fifth place teams will have to apply for wild card positions.
STAY TUNED ON NPH FOR MORE NOVA SCOTIA HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL ACTION!