NPH #1-Ranked Henry Carr Remains Undefeated, Takes Early Bird Championship

FHC Takes Early Bird Classic
FHC Takes Early Bird Classic

TORONTO, ON–It came down to the two Top-Ranked teams in the nation. Two Toronto based programs with great traditions, culture and of course, no shortage of talent. NPH #1-Ranked Henry Carr vs Eastern Commerce; the rematch.

Henry Carr pulled out the 57-53 victory and remains undefeated in the early season.

Lets begin.

A lot was learned over the weekend. The coaches learned what their team is composed of, the players got familiar with their role while gauging the competition…and I soaked in both pieces of the puzzle. It is essential to understand how early in the year we are and that the biggest step to move forward for any team is knowledge.

The Henry Carr Crusaders entered the game with hunger and energy, playing in front of a jam-packed home crowd. On the other hand, Eastern Commerce matched their hunger, itching for payback in their early loss to FHC earlier in the season.

Dillon Brooks, who had been BEASTING for Carr throughout the tournament, caught the flu and it showed. Brooks played his heart out a, however one could tell he was not himself.

“I was a little sick throughout this game but my brothers picked me up…Josh came up big for us,” Brooks told NPH.

Josh Bell played some of his best ball, scoring from deep and attacking the gaps to score around the basket for a game-high 21 points. He plays a big leadership role for this team, and will be essential if this team will have a chance to go all the way.

“I have to be a leader for our team every game…it’s important that we always stay composed and stay together,” said Bell.

The senior guard also explained that the entire team holds each other accountable by collectively giving instruction, whether it’s the starting line up or the last man on the bench.

Tanveer Bhullar
Tanveer Bhullar Earns MVP Honours

In his first tournament since coming back to Canada, Tanveer Bhullar is showing great signs of progress. Bhullar’s father watched his son for the first time ever at the high school level.

“It feels great to be back; I’m in a good situation…my parents, my family and friends can finally watch me play,” said Bhullar, who grabbed Tournament MVP.

The 2014 7’3 centre has a long way to go in his development but is showing great signs of progress. For one, he is becoming more aggressive, and gaining confidence in the process. In addition, his passing was on display as he reached up at least five assists in the championship game, kicking it out of double teams.

On the flip side, Tournament All-star James Sylvester was sensational all weekend for Eastern Commerce, putting on a shooting clinic. Sylvester shot the ball with efficiency displaying a smooth stroke and soft touch. Defenders could not stay in front of Sylvester due to his combination of athleticism, elite ball speed and ability to change direction.

Sylvester scored a team-high 17 points for Eastern and exploded for 31 in the semi-finals.

Tyler Stone didn’t have a great offensive out put, however he was a great defensive presence, racking up the blocks thanks to his length.

Eastern Commerce was once again without 2016 phenom Justin Jackson.

Next up for both teams is the Humber Classic next weekend, where they could meet once again. Stay tuned.

Tournament All Stars
Shaquille Gayle, Blessed Mother Teresa
Josiah Riley, d’Youville
James Sylvester, Eastern Commerce
Josh Bell, Father Henry Carr

Tournament MVP
Tanveer Bhullar, Father Henry Carr

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