Excitement gloomed this weekend at the Signature League’s second session with the top teams in both divisions facing off against each other.
The first matchup of the day saw the Mississauga Monarch face off against a tough Union East squad.
Union were tested at times, but overall their physicality and nose for the ball led to them prevailing with a 72-54 victory.
Guard Tahron Allen had a solid game for union, leading them for much of the fourth quarter, including going on a personal 7-0 run.
Build like a wide receiver, Allen’s length and athleticism are high level at this point. In addition to him being a lefty, most defenders experience a hard time keeping Allen out of the paint.
For the Monarchs, Ethan Dela Cruz was a major contributor, especially from the land beyond. The diminutive guard nailed 4 three pointers all the while converting on short baseline push shots, and made a beautiful left-handed lay-up after switching hands.
Union stays atop of the grade 8 division at 4-0, while Mississauga and Vaughan are now tied for second. Mississauga and Vaughan will face off next weekend.
Next the grade seven division sported both NuStep and SBA Willock, who put fourth a bid to keep their undefeated seasons alive.
NuStep had to overcome a 10-0 deficit in the first two minutes of the first quarter from a surging Mississauga Monarchs team, eventually winning the match-up 52-46.
The Monarchs bothered NuStep with their height and length, especially with forward Junior Poyser and Vytas Nausedas.
Junior Poyser, a big for the monarchs, posses good touch, a thick frame, and nibble footwork around the basket.
Nausedas, on the other hand, plays more of a bruising style as his activity and physicality away from the ball are his strengths.
NuStep battled back, with a 13-2 run in the third quarter, taking the lead and never looking back.
Kailon Nicholls and Quinton Martin were terrific for Nutep. Nicholls is second in the league in scoring via a smooth three-point game and clutch shooting.
Martin is a skilled lefty that has a variety of moves on the perimeter and going towards the rim that make him a nightmare to guard.
In the final match-up of the weekend, SBA Willock narrowly came through with a 62-61 victory over Brother’s Keeper.
The game was a back and fourth affair as Brothers Keeper looked to have it all but sealed up with a 59-53 lead in the fourth with 1:37 left.
Gabriel Obusan of Brothers Keeper stood out with his good pace, physical downhill running of the floor.
SBA, however, would not be denied especially with Trey Higgins playing the way he did at the helm.
Higgins went on a personal 6-0 run to get the game within two points, before Isaiah Miller splashed the go ahead three to seal the deal with less than 10 seconds left.
Both SBA Willocks and NuStep unbeaten records will be challenged next session as they will play against one another in the battle of the undefeated.