Physicality can never be understated.
It is a layered trait, one that converts through multiple levels within a basketball game.
Yesterday, for the U13 finals at the Jane and Finch Classic, Uptown 416 was simply more physical then Canada Elite, leading to a 55-43 victory.
The affair was tight early on as both teams were feeling each other out, as well as the tempo of the game.
But as the halftime buzzer sounded, and Keon Simmons beat the buzzer with a last second lay-up, uptown went into the half with a 23-18 lead.
They wouldn’t look back from there, outscoring Can Elite 32 – 25 in the second half.
Addison Patterson, named tournament MVP, led his team with 17 points, and was sure to set the tempo early, scoring 10 first half points.
Justus Solomon then added the finishing touches, scoring all 11 of his points in the second half.
Uptown played a very physical game, especially on the defensive end, limiting Canada Elite’s offensive rebounding.
The physical style of defensive play also took a toll on Canada Elite mentally, as they faded away during the final minutes, making some key defensive mistakes.
Cashius McNeilly led Canada Elite with 17 points, including 11 in the second half as he tried to will his team back into it.
Paris Shand, who was fought through foul trouble all game long, scored 13, including a 9-point first half start.
The game, and entire tournament draw for the U13 division was everything you could ask for, as teams fought tooth and nail for everything they earned.
Next stop for these kids, high school ball!
Jane & Finch Classic Stand-Outs
Mathew Alexander Moncieieffe (Vaughan)
Size, athleticism, potential. Those are three words I could use to describe Mathew Alexander Moncieieffe out of Vaughan. Here’s a kid who was able to throw down a couple in game dunks based off of his sheer speed and defensive instincts. Moncieieffe’s ball skills and shot are still very raw at this point as he mainly serves as an energy player for Vaughan, coming off the bench and scoring on cuts and offensive rebounding situations. As he continues to polish off his skills, and matures into his body, this Vaughan contingent will be a player to keep tabs on throughout his high school career.
Jahwaun Smith (Vaughan)
Jahwaun Smith was a treat to watch during this three-day event. Smith is a very fluid athlete, who combines his size at almost about 6 foot 3, with good ball skills. Smith is a versatile scorer, who is able to convert both in the half and full court, and showed great mechanics on offense, especially on his pull up jumper. Smith limits his mistakes, and also bounces back from tough plays with a great sense of confidence. A good athlete too, here is another player from Vaughan with great upside.
Jalen Melville (WC2Play)
A strong lead guard, Jalen Melville is the type of player that likes to both mix-it up for a good inside/outside game. Armoring himself with smooth shooting stroke, Melville is a consistent threat from the three-point line, and knocked down a few big ones in his team’s semi finals match-up against Uptown 416. His strong ball skills also allow the diminutive guard to get into the lane and potentially finish at the rim or find his teammates for open looks. With maturity will come a higher level of athleticism and size for Melville, a really nice player making a name for him self.
Jalen Patterson (WC2Play)
When I made the best big men list for the CYBL, I was hesitant to put Jalen Patterson on it. Not anymore. Patterson has made leaps and strides since I had last seen him on the court. Patterson is relatively new to the game, only being around it for about a year, but the size and athleticism were always there. Now as he has worked on his game, he has really benefitted from slowing himself down, especially around the rim. Patience and new sense of toughness have really allowed Patterson to flourish. There is still a ton of work to do, but his showing at the Jane and Finch classic are steps in the right direction.
Mandrell Gray (CYRUS)
Poise and control are a staple in Mandrell Gray’s young basketball career, as this point guard prospect has a great feel for the game. In his teams’ two point loss to Canada Elite, Gray was a consistent playmaker, seeing the action way before it happened. He uses a good change of speed and levels to beat his defender off the dribble, and loves to drop the ball off to his surrounding big men for easy looks, making offense out of nothing. Moving forward, with continued work on his outside jumper, and finishing at the rim, this point guard prospect has some great upside.
Tyrell Miller (CYRUS)
A lights out shooter, Tyrell Miller was able to consistently shoot the three-ball at the Jane and Finch classic. Miller has great form and mechanics on his jumper, especially when it comes to setting his feet and following through the ball. He also has a competitive edge to his game that isn’t nasty, but tough, as he does not back down from anyone, as evident in his gutsy performance against Canada Elite. Add that with good ball skills, and as he continues to grow, Miller will really start to make a name for him self.
Courage Enoma-Ogbeide (Canada Elite)
A 2021 prospect, Courage Enoma-Ogbeide has really good size, athleticism and strength at his age, allowing him to play a year up. Enoma-Ogbeide is a very tough competitor and isn’t afraid to mix it up in the paint. He has shown a very poised, and confident demeanor on the court. His footwork and patience is also very developed for his age, and he has an array of spin moves, jump stops, and pump fakes near the rim. As he starts to develop guard skills, and a consistent outside jumper Enoma-Ogbeide will expand his game to new, dizzying heights.