Marcus Bonnick is a name you should be familiar with if you’ve been following along on @NorthPoleHoops — you will likely be hearing it all season along.
No hype, just straight production.
“He worked very hard during the summer on both conditioning and fundamental skills”, said Henry Carr Head Coach Paul Melnik. “He could always shoot the three…now he handles [some] point guard duties, can break a defender down and finish or make passes to open teammates.”
En route to the Mark Walton Tournament championship, Bonnick picked up MVP honours, leading the Crusaders to their second major tournament title, both against a familiar opponent…the D’Youville Panthers.
However, Coach Melnik stressed that Carr is not a one man team, which is illustrated by the fact that this was Bonnick’s first tournament MVP, with other players stepping in during previous tournaments.
“Having said all that, we are not a one man team…we are very deep.”
After Carr defeated the Brampton based program on home turf at the FHC Early Bird championships, the Crusaders proved that the playing ground is a non-factor. The final score was 50-49 in favour of Henry Carr.
Marcus Bonnick lead all scorers with 21 points, while Anthony McNish and Brandon Chevannes added eight and seven points respectively.
The young McNish was named tournament all-star and has been solid for Coach Paul Melnik all season–strong defensively and on the boards, while chipping in offensively.
“My role is to get rebounds, score the ball, be agressive, share the ball and be a team player,” McNish told NPH.
The 6’5 tenth grader admits that there was a transition to senior basketball, but that he has made adjustments.
“At first, I was like I’m playing with the ‘big dogs’ now, I have to play a lot stronger,” explained McNish. “After a few games, I got used to the playing style. I have to play tougher, stronger, and box out more.”
For D’Youville, Addy Agunye and DamiAnn Prehay lead with 15 and 14 points. Keshon Montague and Norville Clayton added eight and seven, but the Panthers looked uncharacteristically flustered.
In the end, it came down to playmaking, and both teams battled down the stretch, including a banked in three by Agunye to bring it within one as the buzzer sounded.
Henry Carr is now riding a high into the Xavier Rim Rocker, while D’Youville will need to regroup as the Panthers could meet the Crusaders once again.
Is the third time the charm?
Time will tell.
Mark Walton Tournament Awards
- Marcus Bonnick -MVP (Henry Carr)
- Ty Stewart Nelson Henry Carr)
- Anthony McNish (Henry Carr)
- Addy Agunye (DYouville)
- DamiAnn Prehay (DYouville)
- Isaiah Familia (Catholic Central)