Vancouver, BC – The 2012 Telus Classic finals gave us a matchup of two of the top teams in the province that was not settled until an early fourth quarter run gave the Kitsilano Blue Demons enough breathing room to hold off the White Rock Christian Academy Warriors 81-70, Saturday night at UBC’s War Memorial Gym.
The Blue Demons (NPH #7-Ranked, #1 BC), were led by 2013 point guard Justin Sze, who went for a game high 27 points. The 6-1 senior connected on a number of three point attempts –including a stretch in the first half where he hit four in a row – and showed a nice ability to penetrate and finish at the rim.
Sze shot the ball with confidence all night, including a beautiful jumper early in the fourth quarter where he stepped behind a high screen and calmly drained a deep three. Having shots like that in his arsenal forced White Rock’s guards to play Sze close, giving him the chance to penetrate and create plays.
Also for Kits, 2014 small forward Jonathan Kongbo continues to impress. The 6-6 Kongbo, finshed with 18 points, but is still very much a work in progress offensively. Kongbo was able to overpower his matchup and finish close to the hoop on most occasions, but his perimeter game, most noticeably his dribbling, will need to improve.
Where Kongbo excels is on the defensive end. In the two games that we have seen, he has typically been assigned to the opponent’s best perimeter player, and in this game that meant he was matched up with WRCA point guard Tyus Allen.
Although the 6-1 Allen finished with a team high 20 points, Kongbo did a nice job of staying in front of one of the most talented guards in the province. Having that kind of size on the ball is a distinct advantage for the Blue Demons, and also allows their smaller guards to play off the ball and create havoc in the passing lanes.
Kits big man Luka Zaharijevic had a quiet game, by his high standards, registering only nine points. However, the 6-8 2013 post was able to affect the game with his passing and energy.
Zaharijevic was routinely double teamed, but he was able to find cutters and perimeter players for open shots. More often than not, he quickly made the correct read and gave his teammates a good opportunity to score.
As mentioned, for White Rock, point guard Tyus Allen led the way with 20 points, and continues to look like one of the top guards in the province. Allen shoots the ball will confidence and his combination of handles and strength allow him to get into the lane almost at will.
The 6-1 Allen is also a magnificent passer, with both hands, and excels at finding teammates for layups when defenses collapse on him.
Also for the Warriors, forward Vartan Tanielian finished with 15, and Adam Perrin added 11.
In addition to the High School Boys tournament, the Telus classic features a number of divisions, and awards approximately $100,000 annually in scholarships, gifts and awards. Please check out the tournament homepage for more information on this great event.
Special thanks to Howard Kelsey (Tournament, Chairman and Co-Founder) and to Tyler Ireland, for providing scores and updates throughout the week.