Marcus Anderson Campion Showdown MVP, Campion Tourny Champs
BRAMPTON, ON–What to make of this finals at the St. Edmund Campion Showdown. The home team walked away victorious by a score of 68-57 over St. Francis Xavier.
To start, two ninth graders started at point guard for both teams. For the St. Edmund Campion Bears, Joel Brown and the St. Francis Xavier Tigers Avan Nava. Both of their skills far surpass most in their age group, at first glance no one could tell they are that young. Its the baby face and sometimes timid moments that give it away.
Secondly, a physical specimen, known as Emmanuel Ansah who has the ability to take over games but is not aware of how dominant he can be with the package that he owns.
Of all the teams we’ve seen in the past few months, Campion is on the steepest incline. Marcus Anderson is at the top of his game, Quinton Hamilton is evolving on the wing, Dylon Gregory’s versatility is a plus, CJ Bennett is a bucket getter and Devonte Daniels comes off the bench in some games and ends up as high scorer.
“As the season goes on we’re getting a lot stronger from our practices, we really go at each other and push each other,” the words of senior Guard, Anderson.
Need I say more?
The Campion Bears are closer to understanding each other’s roles and what its going to take to get to OFSAA. They’ll have one more tournament before the Christmas break, which ironically happens to be St. Francis’ annual event, The Rim Rocker.
For the first time in a long time Xavier is heading back in the direction of it’s glory days; they don’t event know it, but this game showed it.
Championship Game Recap
Campion came out gunning in the first quarter, grabbing defensive boards and pushing the ball up for fast break finishes. Before they knew it, Xavier was down 14-5 in front of a packed crowd of Bear fans.
Emmanuel Ansah and Nicholas McDonald were not about to let this get out of hand. Ansah put in two of his signature step-back threes and McDonald attacked the rim aggressively, getting to the line and cleaning up. Ansah and McDonald both had 15 points in the contest.
The first quarter ended with a deep three ball from tournament MVP Marcus Anderson, who registered a game high 18 points. The score at the end of the first was Campion 24-15. After that it was the dawn of a new era.
Young gun Joel Brown’s eyes lit up in the second, breaking down defenders, beating them off the first step and finding his teammates for wide open shots.
Anderson comments on the freshman guards abilities.
“He can put it on deck, create off the dribble and has a high IQ for his age, so he fits right in.”
Brown made it very difficult for help side defenders because of his quick change of directions, and it didn’t help Xavier’s cause that they’re rotations on defense moved like molasses.
When Campion saw themselves pulling away, Adnan Begovic laced two three pointers to cut the lead to five and the Tigers from that point showed a pulse, while still chasing, down 39-33 at halftime.
The back and forth pace of the game continued until the final minutes where Campion was able to capitalize off of second chance opportunities.
Rasheed Weekes did an excellent job on the glass for Xavier all weekend, but they needed more than he along to go after rebounds. Weekes used his strength to establish position and seal out his man.
One of Weekes offensive boards got kicked out to McDonald who would flush a three to cut Campion’s lead again to five.
The Bears swarmed the boards and had a hand in every Xavier shot in the last two minutes. They would eventually pull away with a 67-58 win and the tournament Championship.
This is not the last we’ll see of the Tigers. In the meantime, it would be of great benefit for them to watch game tape and analyze their off ball movement. They can be a dangerous teams if this as well of their defensive rotations are addressed.
By the way the Rim Rocker is set up in two weeks these two teams could meet again, however next time in semifinal action.
Marcus Anderson MVP – Campion
Dylon Gregory – Campion
Emmanuel Ansah – Xavier
Rasheed Weekes – Xavier
Simi Shittu – Corpus Christi
Nikola Farkic – Cameron Heights