BRAMPTON, ON–For the second consecutive year, B-town’s D’Youville Panthers and Sauga City’s Mount Carmel Crusaders met in the finals of the Sheridan Cup after dusting opponents in the rounds leading up to championship game. The Panthers handled two other teams by an average of 26 points, while Carmel took their games by at least 14 points. With the regular season coming to a close, this win would give an indication of who the top team out of peel region is. Moreover, the team that won would hold true to their spot in the national team rankings. After controlling the tempo throughout, the Panthers trampled through and took the 2013 Sheridan cup in a 55-36 victory over the Crusaders.
Josiah Riley walked away with tournament MVP after producing consistently on both ends of the floor for the Panthers. Riley and James Agyeman were two from DY that were named tournment All-Stars and if there was room for another from this team it would have been Rayon Miller. Miller finished with a game high 19 points and six assists.
Most would agree, Miller has been the X-factor in many games that we’ve seen D’Youville play this season. The reason for this is because of how much he provides on both ends of the floor; producing scoring and assisting teammates off the dribble, as well as using his length on D to stifle defenders and pick pockets off other guards.
Lead guard for the Crusaders, Jason Lodenquai was sidelined for this game due to stitches on his finger that he had got as a result of an injury before this tournament. With weaker ball handlers on the floor for MC, many turn overs popped out while they were being pressed full court. The absence of Lodenquai also had an effect on the Crusaders offense in the half court set as well as in transition. His ability to control the floor and attack gaps leads to easy finishes for the likes of Paul Galas and Cassidy Ryan.
Even with Lodenquai in the lineup D’Youville still would have been favoured, however it would have changed the dynamics on defense and added a defender that would be able to stay in front of one of Miller or Agyeman.
A strength in D’Youville’s offense is attacking from the perimeter and they showed this in last night’s tournament championship. Riley spoke on this in a post game interview.
“Coach wants us to attack the basket and make plays for others by pitching out. We want to look for the guys on the outside like Abed who takes a lot of threes and hits a lot of threes. We have to also look for the dump pass to guys like Addy Ogunye, Brandon Goin-Bailey and Kenny Ejim, who can finish around the basket.”
Bet you’re thinking that the last name Ejim, which was mentioned by Riley sounds familiar. Does the name Melvin Ejim ring a bell? Melvin is a current star for the Iowa State Cyclones and is ranked 19th in school history for rebounds, Kenny would be his younger brother who is also very active on the glass.
As the number four team in the country, D’Youville does one thing really well, and that’s win together. Rarely will we see one player go off for 25+ points, instead starters usually end up with 10 or more points each. Their depth gives starters an opportunity to rest while scoring is still coming in from the likes of Abed Emran, who is the team’s go to spot up three point shooter.
This team has played against all of the top teams and has learned from their losses. The Panthers’ goal now is to finish this season on a high note and get to OFSAA.
“We feel like we can bang with the best of them as long as we’re all working together and making the right decisions.”