Eyes wide open at our very first Sun Youth Invitational as Henri Bourassa, a high school team from Montreal took on John Abbott, a nationally-ranked college teams from Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec.
It’s tough not to pay attention in the Sun Youth gym as everything is heightened due to the intimate feel & tight space–high intensity!
Allow me to paint the picture…a group of very athletic and tenacious eleventh graders come onto Sun Youth’s floor with one thought in mind, eat or be eaten.
The Georges twins, Judy and Nudy made a splash onto the national radar with their aggressive defensive mentality and elite level athleticism, while helped fill their stat sheet in terms of rebounding, blocked shots and steals. These boys put on a show.
Nudy lead Bourassa with a team-high 15 points, while Judy added 14.
For Abbott, Justin Owen-Renwick ran the show with composure, leading the team with 17 points, and setting up his guys. Keevon Small added 15 points, as he finished around the rim.
John Abbott is currently ranked #8 in the CCAA (Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association), but they had no idea they were about to go down to the wire with these youngsters from HB.
Abbott eventually pulled away with the 84-73 win in game one, thanks to their offensive patience and I.Q, continuously cutting back door and finding the cracks, taking advantage of Henry Bourassa’s aggressive defensive style.
Word on the street in Montreal is that Henri Bourassa has been wrecking teams at the high school level and that got us thinking; how would this team stack up against teams from across Canada who are in our National Top 25 rankings?
As this tournament goes on we’ll continue to learn more about this squad and have an answer for you in next week’s edition of the NPH Top 25.
To stay neck and neck with a college team until the final minutes of the game says a lot.
Abbott started the game taking advantage of their post presence and pounded it into Robert Drury and Daniel Cayer and then strayed away from what was working, forcing tough jumpers with a defender contesting.
It wasn’t until the closing minutes that they went back to Plan A and of course it worked.
The use of Drury in the high post was equally effective as he waited for the defense to collapse and found the backdoor wide open.
Henri Bourassa went scoreless for two and a half minutes near the end of the game and this is where John Abbott would close it up.
Abdul Mohamed Fresh on the Scene
Another group of unknowns that came out and impressed on day one of the tournament.
The host team Sun Youth came out putting full court pressure on Ottawa Next Level but that didn’t phase them the slightest bit. Guard play for Ottawa turned press breaks into open looks and helped them build a comfortable lead.
Abdul Mohamed was the story of the game with a game-high 34 points. He scored shooting from deep, attacking the hoop and dunking the ball.
Sun Youth tried multiple defenders on him but Mohamed got by or created a shot on whoever came at him.
Similarly Sun Youth’s Kevin Barreau was a threat at all times, and finished with 14.
There is no shortage of raw athleticism and high flying at the Sun Youth Holiday Classic, and we are eager to learn more about their skill sets as the tournament progresses.