MISSISSAUGA, ON–The St. Francis Xavier Junior Rim Rocker tournament. There’s no where else in the country where you’ll find a talent pool of ninth and tenth graders this deep. For years, the Rim Rocker has brought a collection of Ontario’s top Junior level teams to compete; this year, 32 squads rally towards a championship. On day two there were tight, back and forth games and then there were cake walks. Playoff rounds will commence this morning with the following teams having advanced.
For individual performances, St. Edmund Campion’s Keshaun Saunders and Holy Trinity’s PG Elijah Lostracco are having their ways. Saunders beats up on his competition and then stays behind, high in the bleachers studying future opponents. Lostracco is right on track from a production point of view. This tenth grader knows how to get buckets. He is averaging 26 points over the first 3 games in pool play.
Games @ Xavier
9:30 Playoff 2: Henry Carr vs Xavier
10:50 Playoff 4: Jean Vanier vs Notre Dame (Ajax)
12:10 Playoff 6: Oakwood vs UCC
1:30 Playoff 8: D’Youville vs St. Roch
Games @ Carmel
9:30 Playoff 1: JC Richardson vs Loyola
10:50 Playoff 3: Vaughan vs Campion
12:10 Playoff 5: MacNab vs Emery
1:30 Playoff 7: Holy Trinity vs Pope John Paul II
3:00 QF1: Playoff 1 v Playoff 2
4:20 QF2: Playoff 3 v Playoff 4
5:40 QF3: Playoff 5 v Playoff 6
7:00 QF4: Playoff 7 v Playoff 8
There’s really no telling who’s going to come out with the championship. Father Henry Carr looks like the most dominant thus far and carries the most depth, trampling over their opponents by an average of 60 points, even with their biggest piece John Akende watching from the sidelines. These monster wins could at the same time be there Kryptonite; if they come in to the playoffs with a relaxed mindset and underestimate future opponents. This is a natural feeling to get considering their age and the margins they’ve been winning by.
Composure is what it really comes down to.
Next up near the top of the crop would be MacNab’s sharp shooters. Having won the D’Youville Junior Jam tournament in double overtime has equipped them with experience for adverse game situations and the 34 point margin that they have been winning by here has them more confident then ever.
Both Oakwood and Campion also present a challenge as a result of their game management and ability to control the tempo; which has proven to provide them with runs that eventually end up with 15+ point leads. Jean Vanier is also a well coached and disciplined team that impressed at the Vaughan Classic late last year, but the issues with them is that there’s no depth and are limited in offensive weapons. If a strong defender is placed on Kascius Small-Martin, Jean Vanier is left with no one who can create offense as well as him.
St. Roch is the one team, that we have yet to see and will get acquainted with at 1:30. Follow along on twitter for live updates from the Rim Rocker Elias_NPH