VAUGHAN, ON–The past two days have acted as a more formal introduction to the 2017 and 2018 classes after getting glimpses over the summer. The 7th annual Vaughan Junior Classic brought together the GTA’s finest young talent into one gym to duke it out. Last years champions, the Father Henry Carr Crusaders have steamrolled through pool play and will be challenged by a deep Bill Crothers team that shares the same offensive philosophies; push the ball and hurt the defense while they’re sleeping.
It’s very Crusader like to come in placing pressure on the opposition; its always worked for them because they are able to convert and gain big leads from this. In this game, it will be different since Bill Crothers has multiple guards that are able to alleviate the pressure. On many occasions we have seen 2018 guard Shakur Daniel be a pure point guard at 6’4 and make unselfish play, but today he will need to be semi-selfish and create off of the dribble in order to help his team get past Carr.
The transition game of John Akende and Shae Brown of FHC will be on at all times, and once these hounds are on the loose the rest of the pack is running with them at high speed; this is when the Crusaders are most dangerous.
Before FHC and Bill Crothers go at it, the host team Vaughan Voyaguers will meet with St. Michael’s College in the others semi-final. The guard match-ups in this game features a lengthy and cerebral guard in Johnathan Kabongo and teammate Marcus Carr who have complimented each other well thus far in the tournament. Both have strong ball handling that allows them to penetrate and finish or penetrate and find a teammate on the move.
It will be a challenge for the Vaughan to keep up with Kabongo specifically because of his speed and vision. Not to be taken as a shot at older brother Myck, but the younger brother Jonathan is shaping up looking better than the elder when he was a ninth grader.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker of Vaughan will likely guard Kabongo and face his biggest challenge yet from a one on one perspective. There has been questions surrounding his defensive capabilities and they will be answered today.
For now eyes will be on Jean Vanier’s Kascius Small-Martin, the shooting guards from JC Richardson and a few of the Mother Teresa guys as we continue to evaluate their game.
North Pole Hoops will be finishing up at the #VaughanJrClassic and then heading to Father Henry Carr for the senior #FHCEarlyBird. If you can’t make it there, join us online via the live stream beginning at 12:30pm.
Vaughan Jr Schedule
9:30 am – Jean Vanier vs J. C Richardson
11:00 am – Emery vs Blessed Mother Teresa
12:30 am – Vaughan vs St. Michael’s
2:00 pm – Father Henry Carr vs Bill Crothers