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FHC Early Bird Classic Top Performers

Published by on November 8, 2011

The 2011 Father Henry Carr Early Bird Classic wrapped up this past weekend and was full of excitement and passion with 12 teams from all across the GTA to compete on the hardwood– with the exception of St.Patrick’s who travelled from Ottawa to compete in this tournament. The tournament kicked off on Friday and ran through Saturday with Vaughan being crowned repeat champions again this year!

CROWN was on hand all week breaking down the several teams in actions and the key standouts that either impressed as usual or made a name for themselves here at this tournament.


Marial Shayok (6’4, G, 2014, St.Patrick’s) – Shayok had a great weekend and was the go-to option for St.Patrick’s each game. His height and length allowed him to shoot the midrange shot effectively in traffic and off screens. Shayok showed glimpses of his long range shooting ability as he stepped outside the arc occasionally. In addition, Shayok penetrated the opponent’s defense and worked his way to the rim and either made his layups or was awarded free throws. His defensive ability lacks at times and he needs to work on putting more pressure on his matchup. That being said, Shayok led the tournament in points scored in a game with 37 points in a huge comeback win against JC Richardson and had a pair of 20 point games to along with a stellar weekend.

Henry Tan (5’11, PG, 2013, Vaughan) – It was another day at the office for Tan who showed that he could lead this Vaughan team without their centerpiece Andrew Wiggins, who enrolled at Huntington Prep for this year. He showed immense speed and agility on the fast break and made it extremely hard for his matchup to chase him in transition. Tan has good vision on offense and knows which players to hit at key moments in the game. He also displayed his explosive first step which caught defenders off guard time after time. What I liked about his game was that he applied the same intensity and pressure on defense as well and made it very difficult for his matchup to get good looks at the net.

Josh Bell (6’2, SG, 2013, Father Henry Carr) – Bell was very impressive scoring the ball all weekend and for the most part he did it in the flow of the game. At times gave defenders issues guarding due to his strong big body that he put to use when attacking the basket hard, which also led him making a few trips to the charity strike. Bell also showed solid ball handling when creating he’s buckets, got to middle range frequently for pull up jumpers and made the right plays in transition, and showed overall improvement in his overall decision making. Bell’s return the Father Henry Carr will be huge, Crusaders have another weapon to call on.

Troy Reid-Knight (6’0, PG, 2013, Vaughan) – Reid-Knight and Tan made up one of the best back courts in this tournament. With Tan rotating to the 2 spot at times, Reid-Knight led the potent offense throughout the tournament. Reid-Knight’s decision making ability along with his vision had the open players getting the ball or kicking out to the wide arsenal of shooters at the 3 point line.  Aside from his play making ability, he can also receive the kick out pass and long range shots if left with enough space. Reid-Knight’s defensive prowess is hungry and is constantly sticking to his man even before they get into a half court set on offense.

Emmanuel Owootoah (5’9, PG, 2014, Martingrove) – Emmanuel was a prime example of a player who came with the hunger to make a name for himself. As Martingrove’s gem, Emmanuel led the offense for most if not the entire game. His explosiveness on offense left defenders in the dust as he scored in the paint. While carving up the defense, Owootoah found his open teammates and racked in a solid stat line consisting of points and assists. He is a solid ball handler who can be flashy at times leading to turnovers. He carried his solid play on defense as well and was very active while pressuring his matchup.

Tramique Sutherland (5’11, PG, 2012, Father Henry Carr) – Sutherland was one of the top 3 guards in this tournament. He was a very offensive point guard during the tournament and used his speed and agility to make plays for himself and his teammates. Coach Melnik kept Sutherland on the court for a majority of each game and Sutherland took it as an opportunity to impress his doubters. For a 5’9 guard, Sutherland was squaring off with much taller defenders and still managed to score off layups and perimeter shots often. Sutherland can hit the shot from outside if given space and uses the jump fake to get his way to the rim for a layup or a quick dish for an assist.

Jalen Griffith (6’4, SF, 2013, Pickering) – Griffith was one of the main sources of offense for Pickering throughout the tournament including the finals. He displayed his great athleticism each game and showed why he should make our list of standouts. Griffith is a solid shot blocker and uses his lanky physique to alter shots and make shooters hesitate on take shots when he’s near. Offensively, Griffith played well under the rim and was a matchup nightmare once he got in the key. It seemed like every good bounce or effort needed was generated from Griffith. Although Griffith isn’t a great ball handler and is a mediocre perimeter shooter, his work ethic and hustle, paired with his athleticism, got the job done this weekend.

Jaylen Babb-Harrison (6’4, Wing, 2012, JC Richardson) – Harrison was the star for JC Richardson as he led in scoring for most of their games in this tournament. All throughout the tournament Jaylen displayed his terrific three point shot and stretched out the defense making life easier for his teammates to drive in. He was a defensive nightmare for the opponent because he would continuously drag his defender outside and make a play to get to the rim if he caught them flat footed. His height could be attributed to his rebounding ability and knack for converting on second chance points in the paint.

Cy Samuel-Richard (6’5, G/F, 2012, Vaughan) – Samuel-Richard was named the Tournament MVP on Saturday due in part to his consistent play throughout the tournament and on the biggest stage of them all, the finals. While Henry Tan and Troy Reid-Knight did most of the passing work, Samuel-Richard saw most of his baskets coming just inside the key and right in the grill of his defender. He was a steady offensive force for Vaughan scoring at key times and efficiently. Samuel-Richard was an integral part of Vaughan’s offense and an even bigger part on defense where he was very good at limiting offensive chances for his matchup.

Honorable Mentions:

Tre Boutilier (6’5, SF, 2012, Father Henry Carr) – It was an ‘OK’ weekend for Boutilier who managed to lead FHC in scoring for a couple of games despite looking cold on offense.

Connor Gilmore (6’6, F, 2014, Martingrove) – Gilmore had a good outing for Martingrove this weekend. He was a consistent scorer in the paint for the Bears and was an important piece to their Consolation Championship finish.

Ammanuel Diressa (6’4, G, 2012, Eastern Commerce) – Diressa showed off his terrific shooting touch this weekend and showed why it was a bad decision to leave him open on offense. He occasionally slashed inside to the rim but he needs to work on doing that more often so he is a much efficient option on offense.

Montaque Gill-Ceasar (6’5, G, 2015, Vaughan) – At such a young age, Gill-Ceasar was a consistent scorer for Vaughan and really impressed everyone at how handled playing at such level defensively and offensively.

Shaquille Francis (6’2, G, 2012, Pickering) – Pickering relied on a Francis for most of their offensive production throughout the tournament especially in the finals. He was a great contributor to Pickering’s finals run.

Steffon Watson (6’1, G, 2013, Martingrove) – Martingrove looked to Watson for some high scoring each game and he delivered. Watson was extremely efficient in the paint and got to the net almost at will during games.

Other Eye Catchers…

James Miles (6’6, F, 2013, Westmount) - Nice foot work, makes plays from high block and can take it down low. Rebounds his area and was very impressed with the way he protected the rim in day 1 of the tournament.

James Sylvester (6’0, G, 2013, Eastern Commerce) – Not a lot guards you’ll find who play harder than James Sylvester, excellent motor on both ends of the floor. Great speed, quickness, and has tighten handle a bit more.

Mohammed Camara (5’9, PG, 2013, Eastern Commerce) – Small but a tough as nails. Does a fantastic job keeping guards infront of him, runs the offense and knocks down open three balls.

Julius Antoine (6’2, G, 2013, Vaughan) - Loves attacking the hoop and gets buckets in transition play.

Kassius Roberts (6’2, SG, 2013, Vaughan) - Has more confidence handling the ball under pressure and is a knock down shooter from beyond the arc.

-Article by Gilbert Muako & Ali Ahmed.  Follow them on twitter @GilMuako and @CDNBallJunkie

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