DamiAnn Prehay – Tournament MVP
Keshon Montague – D’Youville
Curwin Elvis – Campion
Andrew Anderson – Campion
Danilo Djuricic – St. Michael’s
ST. CATHERINES,ON–It took a double over time to get the job done in the championship game of the Ontario All Catholic Classic. Both Brampton teams, D’Youville and Campion came in very focused after having played each other last weekend in the Sheridan Cup final. This one was for the city’s bragging rights and it showed in D’Youville’s celebration with the bench storming the court after Addy Ogunye curled off of a screen at the top of the key to give the DY Panthers the lead, 50-49 and leave no time on the clock.
The Panthers started the game with brutal offensive possessions that ended up in numerous turnovers and a 14-2 lead for Campion after the first quarter. Campion’s Coach Omar Miles had his team man up after finishing the game against St. Mike’s in a 3-2 zone. The match up man was well suited for this game as both teams were very familiar with the tendencies and go to players of each other’s teams.
Hustle plays from Marcus Anderson on the boards gave Campion many second and third chances to rack up. One of D’Youville’s tournament All-Stars, Keshon Montague was not about to be out hustled or out played. On countless occasions he sacrificed his body to take charges and displayed other intangibles throughout the game. Montague also finished the game pitching in nine points.
The start of the second half is when the tables started to turn and momentum had swung in favour of D’Youville. DamiAnn Prehay’s defensive abilities really set a tone for the rest of the team as he put Andrew Anderson in shackles and limited him from getting around the basket where he does his best work.
Prehay had some thoughts on the win and what the team is going to be like moving forward.
“We didn’t play as well as we should have at Sheridan. We believed in each other a whole lot more tonight than last week and worked the ball more so more guys got touches, everyone is interacting a lot better and we’re all involved…We didn’t think that we were going to come in here and blowout Campion, they’re a good team, but we’re happy to come out with the win.”
With Curwin Elvis quiet in the game after having multiple 20 piece platters in the tournament, CJ Bennett took it upon himself to keep things rolling for Campion. Bennett finished with a game high 17 points while taking advantage of the gaps that opened up for mid-range pull up jumpers.
The Panthers bench was vital in igniting a flame under their starters. The energy that came from them during timeouts and while their teammates were on defense really gave a second wind.
Need I mention how annoying it is to watch double overtime without a shot clock? In the end, you play and take advantage of the rules that are present. Both teams took lengthy possessions and ran the clock down to play it safe.
The possession that mattered the most was poorly defended by Campion. Coach Miles saw it happening early from the way that D’Youville had set up to inbound in the final seconds while down one. Coach Miles yelled to his guys to switch down as Addy makes the cut to the rim, however with all the confusion in the paint and no defenders communicating, Addy Ogunye rolled in to the right side of the basket for an easy lay in and ultimately pay back from the Sheridan Cup final.
D’Youville is looking more and more like an OFSAA contender after each game. Head Coach of the D’youville Panthers, Carlo Zoffranieri pin pointed many situations down the stretch where his guys were a step too slow on a switch or weren’t able to keep their man in front. Once this area of DY’s game is addressed they become a whole new power in Ontario.
The Panthers have shown that when they impose their will at the start of games, they are capable of trampling on opponents.
This tournament put the whole season into perspective. Any team can be beat by any team, there is no longer an untouchable. Eventual finalists, Second place team, St. Edmund Campion defeated the nation’s #1 ranked team St. Michael’s College in the semi-final to advance. Surely it’s the players that are getting it done on the floor, but Head Coach Omar Miles is credited for the recent turn around in his team’s game as they approach league playoffs. He has injected the Campion Bears with confidence in pressure situations and as a result we have seen their turnover numbers trickle down.
Two teams whose overall performances disappointed this weekend were Mississauga’s Father Goetz Gators and Kitchener’s St. Mary’s Eagles. Many mental lapses and laziness on defense has both of these teams struggling.
Cathedral and Cardinal Newman had solid showings in this tournament and will be playing each other this Thursday in Hamilton in league play.
The Cardinal Newman Cardinals are playing with just six players as they continue to battle injuries, one of which is their star guard David McColloch who is out with a sprained MCL. In the meantime, the younger and very tough duo of Tyler Brown and Josh Nardini are holding down the fort.
For Cathedral, recent Brock Badgers commit, Daniel Dzierwaski has been near unstoppable creating space for himself to get up step back jumpers and breaking down the defense to get in the lane and find his guys or finish at the rim. Kareem Collins has also been a big piece, having added a good deal of muscle mass since the start of the season and using it well to absorb contact and seal out rebounders.
Canada’s number one high school team St. Michael’s College will be without their starting point guard Godwin Boahen for the next two weeks as he nurses an injured wrist. Boahen is a big factor in the Blue Raiders offense and will be missed. His teammates are not able to get shots as clear as he creates for them when he’s on the floor by vacuuming defenders and dishing out. Having both Boaehen and Kaputo on at once is what gives the Blue Raiders penetration chances.
Stay tuned on the happenings leading up to provincial championships across the country.