Champions were crowned last night in Oshawa Ontario, as the CYBL’s showdown concluded the season for both the boy’s grade 8 (2021) and grade 7 (2022) divisions.
The grade 7 divisions semis were as close as they could possibly get, as both finals teams were able to squeak out victories with a combined point total of 5.
DC United upset #1 ranked team Grassroots elite 54-53, while Marksmen prevailed against team Breakdown 53-51.
In their one game head-to-head this season, Marksmen handed DC United their first lost not only in the CYBL, but around 2 years in a 41-40 classic.
If that was extra fuel to the fire, it was definitely portrait by DC United, and showdown MVP Isaiah Adams.
Adams was able to score 11 of his 16 points in the first half, and DC United beat the Marksmen 67-55, becoming the first ever-4th seed to win the CYBL’s showdown.
Adams was able to put on a great display of athleticism with great speed, strength, and acrobatic finishes near the rim.
DC also had good contributions off the bench from Nicholas Kattein, who scored 6 of his 8 points in the first half.
“Big Nick” put together a string of baskets at crucial points in the game, hitting a combination of jumpers and push shots in the lane.
In the second half another pair of DC United players stepped up to the plate as guards Noah Sectram and Kole Scott showed the Bulldogs depth.
Scott opened the second half with a three ball that helped ignite his confidence.
This eventually opened up his ability to attack the rim, getting a massive and-one basket at 4:37 seconds of the game, extending DC’s lead to 51-43.
Scott finished with 17 points for DC united, 15 coming in the second half.
Noah Sectram was also an absolute pest on the court as the diminutive guard used his quickness to get in the lane, and his toughness and hang time to finish.
Sectram finished with 9 points, 7 in the second half.
Malachai Coke, David Ononinu, and Isiah Ceasar helped round out a complete team effort by the Bulldogs whose size aided their team defense, and offensive rebounding ability.
It was a tale of two halves for the Marksmen as they were red hot from three point arc in the first half.
Standout Jaden Langley-Thomas was especially on cue as he nailed three triples in a row.
Langley-Thomas also had some impressive euro-steps and floaters in the lane.
Darius Morris was also able to set up the flow of the offense, and was facilitating very well finding teammates Ritiesh, and Roshan Persaud, as well as Tyeriq Blake for easy finishes at the basket.
However, in the second-half, the Marksmen settled for the three point shots, becoming too trigger-happy from the land beyond.
Other then Elijah Mahi’s two three-point shots in the latter half, no other Marksmen were able to hit.
Langley-Thomas finished with 18 points, while Morris and Mahi pitched in 8 points apiece.
Next for the Bulldogs is OBA’s were they are looking to repeat as champions, hoping to take over the momentum from this years CYBL victory.
DC did not dominate as they were typically used to which is great for them in the long run.
It has helped this group of young players mature as both players and men, as the Bulldogs biggest victory came in their ability to deal with adversity.
Ranked #4 heading into the showdown, but they leave as #1.
In the grade 8 division, for the second year in a row, a team goes a perfect 20-0 in their quest for a championship as Key Hoops Cory Joseph Elite claimed their first showdown at the CYBL.
YAAACE was able to battle Key Hoops to their closest game yet, ensuring a great final game for the grade 8 division.
Showdown MVP Jahkyah Carino-Gittens scored a team high 15 points, and Key Hoops built an early lead before securing a 52-46 victory over YAAACE.
Carino-Gittens was able to control the tempo, pace, and play of the championship game with his blistering speed, great anticipation on the defensive end of the ball, and vision when attacking the paint and dealing with the rotation of YAAACE’s defense.
One of the premier players on the court for Key Hoops, he has proved to be a vital part of both their full court press, and zone defense.
Key Hoops had such a variety, combination, and depth of talent making them such a tough match-up.
Key Hoops big man Cameron Brown did all of his damage points wise in the first half with 6.
Brown further affected the game with his athleticism and instincts on the ball going up for countless rebounds and getting some monster blocks in the process.
Every time YAAACE got the game close, Key Hoops was able to answer and maintain their lead that was built around the 11-minute mark of the second half.
YAAACE turned over Key Hoops twice, converting on lay-ups and leading the stage for Javier Glasgow three-point basket, cutting the lead to 39-37 with 6 minutes left.
Glasgow showed spurts in the contest as the grade seven YAAACE man handles and three point shooting led him to 7 points.
Key Hoops was able to answer with Raeshaun Ambris, as his only points of the contest came with a clutch floater in the lane to push the lead back up to 41-37.
Jemoi Syblis and YAAACE answered back as he scored on an and-one basket, and after missing the subsequent free-throw collected his rebound, scoring again and knotting the game at 41 a piece.
Sybilis played very strong inside with his great knack for getting to the ball first.
Key Hoops, again, was able to answer as big-bodied Devonte Cambell who used his great size and touch around the rim and converted on a lay-up.
Next for Key Hoops was knock down shooter Jahlil “Big Shot” Scott, as he hit a momentum changing three-point bomb from close to 25 feet out on the fast break a-la-Stephen Curry.
The three pushed the score to 46-41.
Jaiden Martin, whose shooting was instrumental for Key Hoops all season, boosted the lead to 48-41 with a crossover dribble leading to a midrange pull up jumper.
After YAAACE scored on their next possession, Carino-Gittens then scored a drive to the basket, which delivered the final blow pushing the lead to 50-43 with under one minute left.
Jemoi Syblis converting on the three at the other end, but after an offensive foul was called on a Javier Glasgow missed three point shot.
With the score at 50-46, it was simply a formality with under 15 seconds left.
Sam Alamutu was fouled, headed to the line and converted on his free-throws, finishing the game with 6 points.
Of everytime Alamutu did well, his rebounding and defense against Kyle Duke of YAAACE was especially tough, showing his competitive fire.
Duke scored 15 points and was tied for game high honors with Carino-Gittens.
In the half court, or on the fast break, Duke’s size and length along with his ability to handle the ball and get to the rim to finish or find his teammates makes him a threat at all times.
He also hit a three, showing growth in his game, while facilitating for open baskets to his teammates Saevion Brown and Jayden Dorsett.
Key Hoops coach Richard Scott will now finally be able to take a breath, and allow his players, along with the parents to take a break before they start resuming training.
The victory, and season was a long one for Key Hoops and they will look forward to getting some of their new pieces acclimated to the program.
YAAACE and Corey Niles on the other hand will be heading to Philly to compete at the under armor proving grounds next weekend, as they showed their grit, toughness, and resiliency in the final game of the CYBL’s grade 8 division.