Tariq’s Tidbits: Corpus Christi is My Dark Horse, Top-Ranked Teams Go to Battle

tariqs tidbitsIt’s freezing in Toronto right now, but the temperature is about to rise for day 3 of the St Mike’s invitational as the quarter-final matchups have been set. All quality games!

After round one games through the first two days of the tournament, the dust is settling.

The quarter-final games feature top Canadian prospects–from an evaluation standpoint, the level of competition provides strong insight into strengths and weaknesses of these players. How teams and players perform on this stage will go a long way in determining where they stand.

For the current #NPHTop25 National Rankings, click here, and stay tuned for release #8 that will certainly see a shake up!

#3 St Edmund Campion VS #19 Bishop Reding

Devonte Daniels in lock down mode | Courtesy: @RonnieMexx
Devonte Daniels in lock down mode | Courtesy: @RonnieMexx

This game will be a test for both Christian David and Bishop Reding. The boys out of Milton haven’t been able to get over the hump yet, but have all the pieces to do so…they will have to get FULL effort from the entire team.

Campion is coming off of three straight tournament championships in December, and beat Mother Teresa to slide into the St Mike’s tourny quarter-finals.

These boys are battle tested, but have not yet reached their potential…a good sign for coach Miles knowing that they have another gear to get into.

Experience will play a key role in the end result of this game.


#1 St Mikes VS #20 Holy Trinity

Nelson Kaputo
Nelson Kaputo

I don’t remember the last time the Blue Raiders lost a game in their home tournament. They also haven’t lost a game on Canadian soil all season. SMC will have a rowdy home crowd, and Holy Trinity will enter as the underdog.

But don’t sleep on HT; Chris Hankins has been a pleasant surprise this season, plus you have the scoring punch of Ignas Bridzeika, along with a well-coached team with some experience.

This will be the biggest test of the season for the Oakville-based program.

#5 Pine Ridge VS #22 Corpus Christi

Simi Shittu ladies and gentlemen, is the real deal holyfield. And because of that, I have Corpus as my dark horse of the tournament.

Corpus logoThe Burlington crew already upset #10-ranked Vaughan for their biggest win of the season, in the first round and are hungry for more. But I have some more news for you…it’s not just the mistmatch problem that Shittu brings to the table–the rest of the crew stepped up and is making plays for Corpus–Gian Lumampas nailing threes, Mfiondu Kabengele providing inside-out production, and Malik Richards attacking the paint at will.

The Pine Ridge Pumas have some fire power in their guard-oriented trio–Jordan Henry, Chase Vassell and Nevell Provo—but they will have to come correct in this one to defeat Corpus–they won’t go down easy.

Can Corpus take down another Top-10 opponent?

#6 Oakwood VS #7 Henry Carr

Courtesy: @RonnieMexx
Courtesy: @RonnieMexx

A traditional battle. A rematch of last year’s OFSAA championship game. The methodical Oakwood Barons take on a inclining Henry Carr Crusaders team, who are looking sharp at this point in the season.

Michael Paulo is a new addition to the starting line up for the Crusaders, after Coach Paul Melnik has done some experimenting in line ups throughout the season. As always, FHC will be fiesty, and Oakwood will be ready for that.

Another intense battle to end off the quarter-final match ups on a high note!

Follow me on Twittter at @Tariq_NPH for LIVE updates along with @NorthPoleHoops for the latest in Canadian Basketball action!


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