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Lady Bruin Classic(2011) – Standout Evaluations

Published by on September 26, 2011

On September 23 and 24, 2011 the Sheridan College Lady Bruins of Brampton, Ontario hosted their Lady Bruins High School Classic.  The Lady Bruins who have been a definite force on the Ontario College (OCAA) scene with their 55-1 record in Ontario College league play over the past 4 seasons.  Their coach, Shane Bascoe, convened as they played host to this 8 team high school tournament that featured 4 Peel region teams (Mount Carmel, Sir Edmund Campion, St Francis Xavier and Marguite d’Youville) , 2 from Guelph (John F Ross and St James) and one each from York region (Aurora) and from Toronto (Eastern Commerce).

The Consolation finals saw the Aurora Eagles squeeze past the John F Ross Royals by a narrow 55-51 win.  In the Championship Finals, the Eastern Commerce Saints prevailed with a 54-46 win over the Campion Bears.  The Finals win was revenge for Eastern Commerce as last year’s Championship final that saw Campion win a similar matchup of the two teams by 20.  What may have proved to be the major difference this time around, may have been an injury that held Campion’s Shay Colley out of action throughout the tournament.  Eastern Commerce exposed weaknesses in Campion’s Guard play, which I believe proved to be a deciding factor in this game.

Tournament All Stars: Kayla Davis (d’Youville), Aprille Deus (d’Youville), Brett Hagarty (Aurora), Oceana Hamilton (Campion), Sade Iriah (Campion)
Tournament MVP: Sami Hill (Eastern Commerce)

Onto the standouts’ player evaluations :

Sami Hill (5’10″, G, Eastern Commerce, 2012)
Sami is a very athletic player and has very good footwork that she uses to her advantage as evidenced in her long strides when running the floor.  This track athlete has long strides which were great for getting past opposing full court presses and the speed she possesses was a problem for the many defenders she caught flat-footed. Sami also demonstrated a pretty good leaping ability vertical to round out that portion of her game.  On the defensive end, her speed led to many turnovers, and her feistiness certainly got under the skin of her opponents to which she would respond with a smirk or a smile and to continue going back to work.  Add to that she was a very good floor general and leader throughout the tournament, making sure she had the rest of her team on board with their assignments AND led her team from 3-point land and you can see her she was well deserving of the Tournament MVP. 

Ocean Hamilton (6’3″, C, Campion, 2013)
Oceana is a Centre that has a lot of the skills necessary to do well at the next level.  She is a very solid big that does well hustling up and down the floor.  She was effective in the paint when her offense was running half court sets and was consistent in scoring the ball with the effective use of head fakes and working her pivot foot. Her strength was on constant display when sealing off opposing Centres with one hand, while calling for the ball with the other.  On defense she had blocked a number of shots and altered far more.   I did notice that she would panic a bit especially during portions of the Championship game where the pace was very fast and frantic.  Because everyone else was rushing it seemed as though she felt she had to rush her moves in not getting her feet set as well as she had been doing or fully squaring up to the basket when ready to release.

Teanna Edman Rowe (5’5″, G, Eastern Commerce, 2012)
Teanna’s game is not one that fills up the basket and wow you with the amount of points she will score.  Hers is one that will cause you to raise an eyebrow with how much intensity she brings to each play.  On both sides of the ball she applies pressure and forces whomever is assigned to her to always be on their game.  And despite being one of the smallest players on the court, I even noticed her diving for a loose ball in the paint amongst others that were more than a foot taller than her.  It is this heart, coupled with her humble nature that will make her a welcomed addition to a right situation after graduation in 2012.  I must say that, although her first instinct is to create for her team, she did enough scoring to keep the defense honest with the way they played her.  But, she will need to keep an eye out for her shot selection at times as from time to time, some of the ones put up were taken were rushed, not doing due diligence to keeping shot mechanics in mind.  These were few and far between and didn’t seem to disrupt the Saints momentum too much.

Kayla Davis (5’10, G, d’Youville, 2013)
Despite the Panthers’ early exit from the tournament, Kayla’s play was not to be discounted.  This extremely quick Guard created match up issues due to her speed.  She was a constant threat when she had the ball, especially when she decided to unleash a fluid spin move that she seemed comfortable in executing when the time called for it.  When it isn’t called for, head and ball fakes kept defenses guessing and strong, crisp passes were delivered to waiting teammates.  She used good judgement along with her speed on fast breaks and completed a good percentage of them.  At times while watching Kayla play, she comes across as dispassionate, but don’t be fooled by her demeanor.  Although she may not be the one you’d look to rally the troops, inside there is a fire that rages and during the game, she will give you all she has while going about her business.

Vaneil Simpson (5’5″, G, Eastern Commerce, 2012)
When talk about the onslaught of this year’s Eastern Commerce Guards come up, Vaneil’s name has to be mentioned.  This 2-guard is a very important weapon.  On many occasions she successfully tip-toed just outside of the site of opposing players and also jumped the route of passes for interceptions with cat-like reflexes. And, with her ‘motor is always running’ style of play, on offense she relied on strong takes refusing to shy away from contact. The major attribute to Vaneil’s game, is one that she will also have to keep an eye on.  What I noticed with Vaneil is that at times her tenacity may come across as too aggressive, which may lead to early foul trouble.  Don’t get me wrong, a coach would love a bench full of players with her persistence, but what she brings may need to be tempered early on in games based on that ref’s interpretation.

Brett Hagarty (5’9″, G, Aurora, 2012) 
Brett is the Eagles’ leader on the court and as the leader she did more than just talk the talk, she led by example.  She took charge for forcing numerous turnovers with her pressure defense and keeping defenders in front of her.  At the other end of the court she had the ball in her hands at one point or the other on what seemed like every possession when running the Eagles’ point.  She was successful driving to the basket, resulting in many scores including 21 points on the Consolation Final.  It also led to a nod as a Tournament All-Star.  Hagarty is a gifted athlete that seems to be leaning towards volleyball, where she was a Tournament All-Star playing for the silver medal winning Team Ontario at the Canadian Nationals for Volleyball this summer.  

Aprille Deus (5’7″, G, d’Youville, 2012)
Aprille has a high basketball I.Q. and possessed an invaluable tool that one would want in a Point Guard, being able to have a pulse on all that transpired in the game and the ability to know how to remedy it.  Unfortunately for the d’Youville Panthers as a team, they did not have a deep enough team in order to provide those solutions and actually hang around with Campion more than they did.  Aprille efficiently played her position by being very vocal and making wise decisions.  This on-court Quarterback created opportunities for her teammates who, because of her, were always in touch with what the game plan was.  Her and Kayla Davis played very well with each other and fed off each other’s playmaking.  Aprille also displayed a good shooting stroke, even nailing a few threes.  Her performance earned her Tournament All-Star nod.

Sade Iriah (6’0″, F, Campion, 2012)
This recent Northeastern commit was a monster on the boards throughout the tournament.  She played aggressive while going hard for each of the loose balls off the rim on both ends of the floor. Sade did a lot of the little things that when combined led to her success on defense.  Boxing out, getting hands up, attacking rebounds all seem to come second nature for her.  Bobbing and weaving when she has the ball in the paint on the offensive end, yielded some success.  As is the case with many players at this age, calming herself down in order to take advantage at the charity stripe should be something she may want to keep in mind during training sessions.  During the slower paced d’Youville game she went 6-for-6 in her foul shooting.  In the much faster paced, foul filled Final against Eastern Commerce, she couldn’t cash in to close the gap her Bears desperately needed, shooting 4-for-10.

Julia Robertson (5’5″, G, John F Ross, 2012)
Julia had a very good shooting performance connecting for 16 pots in the 2nd half of the Consolation Finals. Overall that game She nailed five 3-pointers en route to a 23 point performance as the Royals came up just short against the Aurora Eagles.  Although she didn’t shoot the lights out like this her in previous games, she did shoot well enough to stay on the radar to see how things develop from a shooting perspective.  I would like to see her overall skills in other areas of her game and her athleticism worked on in order to take things to the next level.

Sam Minicucci (5’8″, F, Mount Carmel, 2012)
Sam was certainly Carmel’s bright spot this weekend.  She is a solid sized player that keeps her head up when making her team’s decisions.  Although normally a Forward, she was put in a position where she did quite bit of ball handling and did a pretty good job.  She worked the pick-and-roll a couple times sealing out her defender in in order to best position herself for the pass.  She would have done better finishing up around the glass a lot more than she did, but shot very well from the line in order to make up for any shortcomings in the paint.

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