Sparks Continue to Fly As Signature League Enters Homestretch

The Nike Signature League’s grade 8 division was loaded with great match ups across the board.

The biggest game of the weekend saw a battle of two undefeated teams as Halton basketball face off against Grassroots Elite. Although it was tight through three quarters, Grassroots proved to be too much for Halton taking the match-up 73-59.

Mikkel Tynes (c/o 2024) and Elijah Fisher (c/o 2023) made their mark on this match-up early in the third quarter after a relatively tight first half. As Grassroots started trapping in the half court, both players showed their swarming defense in their own unique ways. Tynes showed off his strength, and lateral quickness that turned into multiple run out opportunities for Grassroots.

Fisher on the other hand was effective with his length and activity using his wingspan to get multiple deflections and turnovers.

Fisher also ended as the high point man in the contest putting up 21 points, including a few throw downs for the sky above.

For Halton, Andrew Cuff put up an impressive 20 points in the losing effort for his squad. Dolu Johnson also had a good game for Halton with his activity and willingness to guard Fisher amongst other top guys on Grassroots.

Halton fell into turnovers and shooting too many contested three point shots at the end of this game, however, they did fair as well as any team in the league has with the overall speed that Grassroots brings to the court.

It will be fun to see these two teams match up again.

Outside of those the two top teams UPLAY, SBA, Waterloo and the Mississauga Monarchs continue to claw and fight for positioning. UPLAY and the monarchs and  both went 2-0 in this session which pushed them up to 3rd and 4th respectively. SBA and Waterloo fill out the 5th and 6th spots in the top half of the league. For full coverage of standing, and leading scorers click here.

Top 8th Grade Performers of the Weekend

Dawson Mattsell | 2023 | Blessed Sacrament

Matsell had a 41-point outburst against the Mississauga Magic as the Hamilton native now looks like he is close to 100% after dealing with a wrist injury earlier on in the season. This was the first game Matsell did not wear his protective wrist guard and the end results speak for themselves. Three point makes, to floaters, to hard and one takes to the rim – it seems like Matsell does it all.At around 6 foot 3 Matsell has good potential to be a combo guard with his shooting and handling abilities.

Aaron Nguyen | 2023 | Motion Basketball

Motion put together an upset victory against SBA this past weekend winning by 20 points in a massive win for this squad. This truly showed that if you do not come ready to play at the Signature League any team at any time can defeat you because the talent is just that high. Aaron Nguyen was a huge part of this victory as the guard for Motion had 25 points and was unconscious from the three-point line burying 6 in easy fashion. Motion continues to grow and peak at the right time as playoffs are right around the corner.

7th Grade Standouts

Ross Emokpae | 2024 | Mississauga Monarchs

Build like a freight train; Empokpae has quickly become one of the most improved prospects in the Signature League. Originally a football player, Empokpae has good straight-line speed, and strength – especially in transition. Still very raw, as he continues to harness his skill set this is one prospect that looks like he will continue to impress.

Ethan Holness | 2024 | Team Breakdown

Holness is a lead guard who has really come into his own as of this recent session. His aggressiveness on both ends has been contagious for his team as he bring good energy and purpose off of the bench. Holness is able to slither past defenders and get to the hoop. As he continues to improve his outside jumper, he could prove to be a much needed punch from the outside.

Mathew Hegewisch | 2024 | Halton Basketball

Hegewisch brought some much needed aggression and toughness to his talented Halton team. Relentless is how Hegewisch’s game could be described. He attacks on a continual basis, and has proven he has a real knack for getting to the free-throw line. The next step will be to convert on those makes and develop consistency from the outside.

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