HAMILTON, ON–Two great three point shooting teams took the court at the Pinky Lewis championship game, the Holy Trinity Titans and the Newmarket Raiders. Both teams went perfect in pool play, handling the competition fairly easily and by large margins.
Approximately 50% of both teams’ scoring came from beyond the arc and this was attributed to smooth ball movement, unselfish guard play and good shot selection. The presence of post man Nick Ernest and good help defence by the Titans forced the Raiders to defer from attacking the hoop. When their shots weren’t falling in the fourth quarter, HT went on a run and would win 60-49.
NPH #10-Ranked Holy Trinity will also be participating in the Humber Classic taking place next weekend. This tournament will include many of the GTA’s top teams, including finalists from the Henry Carr early bird, the NPH # 1 and #2 teams in the nation, Father Henry Carr and Eastern Commerce. This will be a great test for the Titans as they kick off their season.
Head Coach of the Titans, Andrew Saulez expressed, “We’re happy with the outcome of this tournament so we’re going to take tomorrow off, then it’s right back in the gym the following day to prepare for the Humber classic. There’s still adjustments that need to be made.”
Both Villanova and Newmarket were worthy opponents to HT; they held on strong until the fourth quarter but would eventually subdue to the shooting of Regis Ivaniukas and the backcourt of Trevon McNeil and Nolan Mackenzie.
“This was the first time playing against Newmarket and they’re a solid team, could really shoot well. In the final eight minutes we were fatigued but new that it was the final stretch, we just had to suck it up and close out,” explained McNeil.
For the entire first half of the championship game neither team was able to secure more than a four point lead. Late in the third quarter, HT was pushing the ball on every possession and picked up serious momentum at this time.
A high caliber 2014 CIS prospect Tevaun Kokko hit some big threes to keep Newmarket within reach but it wasn’t enough to stop the Titans surge in the fourth as “Mighty Mouse” Mackenzie took off in the open court for fast break points. Mackenzie proved to be the fastest player on the court in all games. Not only is he speedy, but also finishes well on the attack; even against the largest defenders.
In the last few games that we’ve seen the Titans, they usually change the pace of the game and play at a higher tempo in the third and fourth quarters. At these point in the game they are capable of going on onslaughts of 5 consecutive baskets without letting the opponent score.
They will need to get into their rhythm at earlier parts in the game when competing against teams such as D’Youville, Father Henry Carr, Eastern Commerce, Macnab and St.Edmund Campion, because these teams play at a high tempo throughout all games.
Three major pieces for HT, McNeil (tournament MVP) and First Team All-Stars Mackenzie and Ivaniukas are all seniors and know what’s in store for them in the upcoming tournament. Due to the nature of the teams’ offenses, the best conditioned unit will likely go the farthest.
Pinky Lewis All-Stars
- Trevon McNeil – Holy Trinity
First Team All Stars
- James Miles – Westmount
- Nolan Mackenzie – Holy Trinity
- Regis Ivaniukas – Holy Trinity
- Tevaun Kokko – Newmarket
- Michael Chao – Newmarket
- Gene Spagnuolo – Villanova
- Jack Simmons – Galt
- Andre Kelly – St. Martin
- Vlad Matovic – Cameron Heights
- Thomas Lalonde – St. Francis