Tevin Bailey MVP, Eastern Commerce Gets It Done At Holiday Classic

2013 Holiday Classic Champions - Eastern Commerce Saints
2013 Holiday Classic Champions – Eastern Commerce Saints

TORONTO,ON–While yesterday’s heavy snowfall had some slipping and sliding down the streets of Toronto, the Eastern Commerce Saints were making the climb back up into the chatter surrounding the top 10 teams in Canada. Last night, the Eastern Commerce Saints defeated the MacNab Lions in a back and forth defensive battle that ended in a low scoring win for the Saints, taking the 2013 Holiday Classic championship 42-39.

A low scoring game didn’t mean that it was short of excitement; there were 10 lead changes in the game and every point mattered. It started off with Hamilton standout, Sheldon McIntosh who came out gunning and scored eight out of MacNab’s first 10 points. McIntosh would go on to earn a spot with the 1st Team All-Stars regardless of being benched late in the third as a result of a sprained ankle.

We can’t throw out hypothetical situations and say that if McIntosh was in the game it would have been a different outcome. There’s no doubt that he impacts the game in a major way, but so does the Saints forward, Habib Mohamed who didn’t suit up due to an altercation that took place before the tournament and got him suspended. No punches were thrown, so he is expected to be back in the near future.

2013 Holiday Classic MVP - Tevin Bailey
2013 Holiday Classic MVP – Tevin Bailey

Not having 6’8 Habib Mohamed didn’t affect the teams productivity on the glass and on the defensive end. MVP of the tournament Tevin Bailey, pulled down numerous offensive boards and gave Eastern Commerce scoring from the interior and second and third chances at scoring.

Both Bailey and Tevin Bartley are returning seniors that have been setting the tone on defense, the guards have been feeding off of that and putting pressure on opposing guards.

“The guys we have is who we’ll work with. I think we’re starting to come together and fully trust each other. We have to play with this defensive intensity regardless of the magnitude of the game.”

Coach Kevin Jeffers also mentioned after the game that each individual is learning more about themselves as games go by.

What we’re taking in about the team is clearer role definition that is putting Saints PG, Jason MacDonald, in situations to create for his teammates off of an explosive first step.

“We put most of our guys into the rotation and tried to go as hard as we could to try and tire them out by the third and fourth quarters,” commented Coach Jeffers.

In the absence of MacNab’s starting guard, Matt Trpcic, who wasn’t at the game today because of family related obligations; Bradley Spera played under control and hit some big shots down the stretch to keep the game interesting.

First at the Vaughan Classic and now at the Holiday Classic, the MacNab Lions have just come short of championship gold yet progress is being made. They are breaking zone defenses well and have different tools to use at different positions. The question remains, are they the best basketball team in Hamilton?

Come Monday we are taking a break from the Toronto teams and will spend some time scouting Peel Region at the Xavier Rim Rocker.

Congratulations to the Eastern Commerce Saints on this tournament championship.


1st Team All-Stars:
Brian Hyrski (MacNab Hamilton)
Sheldon Macintosh (MacNab Hamilton)
Caleb Phillips (Pickering)
Kadeem Smithen (Thornlea)
Jason Macdonald (Eastern Commerce)

2nd Team All-Stars:
Eugene Omoruyi (West Humber)
Marcus Ottey (JC Richardson)
Jalen King (Mother Teresa)
Quayshawn Gabbidon (Central Tech)
Kadre Gray (Eastern Commerce)


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