WHO TO WATCH: 2012 Centennial Colts Classic Preview
Published by Michael Henry on October 23, 2012
The anticipation has finally come to a head…the eve of the 5th Annual Centennial Colts Classic Tournament.
As usual there is lots of buzz surrounding the tournament that usually turns out to contain Toronto High School Girls’ deeper fields. This year’s edition, which will run October 26-27, 2012, has strong teams, and many prospects we will see for years to come at both the high school and post secondary levels.
2012 Centennial Colts Tournament Draw (Last Updated Oct 25, 2012)
With all of the inquiries we have received, we have decided to again compile a list (this time in preview format) of some of what to expect from the teams and players that are likely to standout and impact tournament results:
St. Edmund Campion Bears
This team is led by their top prospect, Shay Colley (5’8″, PG, 2014). After a very busy summer with the U17 Cadettes in Holland and again with the U18 3×3 Canadian team in Spain, she has a renewed perspective and hunger back with her for display at the High School level. Along with Colley is Teleshia Riley’s (5’10″, G, 2013) leadership and Oceana Hamilton’s (6’4″, C, 2013) daunting presence in the paint at both ends of the floor. Add to that a solid supporting cast in Genevieve Onyeka (5’8″, G, 2013) and Faith Brown (5’5″, PG, 2013)and it becomes more evident why this team has to be a part of any OFSAA (Ontario High School provincial Championships) 4A conversation.
Eastern Commerce Saints
This year’s edition of the Saints can be described as a blue-collar bunch that are more than willing to put in work. They are a guard oriented team that can rebound and defend. Tayla Gibb (6’2″, F, 2013), is continuing to turn heads with her improved play, is their legitimate inside threat as a low post scorer. On the perimeter, Kate Hill’s (5’7″, PG, 2015) 3-pt shooting has the ability to stretch the defence, which opens up lanes for driving with confidence. Emerging talent, Tianna Sullivan (5’9″, G, 2014), along with Surayya Palmer (5’8″, G, 2013), enjoy creating scoring opportunities and are always threats to score. Eastern Commerce’s key to success lies in their ability to stay out of foul trouble. This means that their on the ball defence will need to be spot-on.
Michael Power Trojans
This team’s fortunes revolves heavily around the success of Cheyanne Roger (6’2″, F, 2013). Power has to be able to find a way to get Roger opportunities for her to dominate in the paint, on both ends of the floor. On the defensive end she will be needed to block shots and rebound everything in her area. On offense, ensuring Roger gets touches and then presenting her with kick out options should be high on the Trojans priority list. Successful Guard play will be this team’s x-factor in determining how far they go in this tournament. Daniela Sablinskas is a shewd player that is a part of the supporting cast that will need to eliviate the pressure Roger will surely face. This Power team will be looking to maintain the momentum of a strong showing in the Humber Classic (Oct 19-20, 2012), which included a triple overtime win over Toronto Catholic rivals, St Joseph’s (Wellesley).
Pope John Paul II Panthers
With so much high level, young talent on this team, many looking out for this team to be a major force for years to come. Danielle Garven (5’11″, F, 2015) has shown the ability to get her shot off in many as different ways and varying distances. Eternati Willock (6’2″, F, 2015) has shown the ability to handle the ball, post up and be a creative, yet accurate, passer. The ball handling duties has been left to Keyira Parkes (5’6″, PG, 2015). Parkes has done a great job penetrating and getting her teammates open shots. Also, highlighting the depth of younger talent on this team is Destoni Willock (5’11″, G, 2014), who is a great defender and who’s game appears to be ripening at the right time. Mix in a strong and nimble undersized Forward in Sammie Amoh (5’10″, F, 2013) and it becomes clear that once this team realizes the potential they have, and begins to harness it, they will become a strong threat to win OFSAA 4A. UPDATE: Cheyenne Creighton (6’2″, F, 2014) has recently cleared up her transfer paperwork (from Pickering) issues and now has a couple of games under her belt and getting used to the Panthers’ attack. She completes with high efficiency when facing the basket and will create problems for defenders.
St. Joseph’s College Bears
St. Joes has been quietly going about their business this year, but are poised to make some noise in a tournament a little closer to home. This team looks to Rashida Atkinson (5’9″, G, 2013), Kim Taylor (6’0″, G/F, 2013) and Dominique Maxwell (5’10″, G, 2014) for scoring. Atkinson’s ability to create scoring opportunities makes her the teams first option. Taylor is a threat from the high post. Her high basketball IQ and toughness has been the backbone of this team’s fortunes. Maxwell is the teams best defender. Maxwell can score in many ways while she can defend 4 positions. The Bears’ point guard play is is in the hands of Khara Keane (5’8″, PG, 2015), who will need to be on her game to maximize the team’s potential of making in this tournament. Liana Villegas (5’7″, PG, 2016) has been operating under the radar. But, no more after stepping up in the Humber Classic tournament. She has deceptive speed that she changes up often, and her frequent trips to the hole in traffic, often yeild positive results.
Bill Crothers Colts
To this point, the Colts have found a good deal of success, finding themselves tied for 2nd place in York Region’s Tier 1 Division. Mary Jo Isip (5’7″, PG, 2015), had a good summer with headsup play, good ball handling and making smart decisions with the ball, and maintaining lessons learned into this season. Shooter Carly Evans (5’7″, SG, 2015), who has built a rapport with Isip, will no doubt be coming off screens, ready for an Isip offering. Along with the rest of the team, both will need to be effective with each and everyone of those attributes against the strong competition they will be facing.
Notre Dame Lady Cougars
Notre Dame is looking to defend winning last year’s Centennial tournament championship. They are led by outstanding Guard Brianna Thomas (5’10″, G, 2013), who earned MVP honours in the Lady Courgars’ home tournament, Iziegbe Enabulele (6’2″, F, 2014) and Kimisha Henry (5’5″, PG, 2014) who is coming off a nod as a Tournament All-Star in the SBA Tournament (Oct 13, 2012). At times throughout the season, Maddie Dender (5’5″, G) has shown she can get hot beyond the arc and score in bunches which will no doubt open things up in the paint. This team has shown great promise after winning the Notre Dame Tournament Championship this year. They excel when they move the ball to score from the inside, from the 3-point line and from mid-range, making them a very difficult team to beat.
One of the top Point Guards in Toronto, Loysha Morris (5’8″, PG, 2013) will need assistance from 3-point sharp shooter Telica Burton (5’4″, G, 2014). Morris’ ability to penetrate and put pressure on opposing team defenses will give Burton opportunities to make open 3-point shots. Burton has shown the ability to also put the ball on the floor and get to the rim. Inside Ashley Cain (6’0″, F, 2015) will be needed to run the floor, rebound and make her put back opportunities. Downsview is an in your face defensive team and a team that will not back down easily.
St. Francis Phoenix
The Phoenix are only team outside of the GTA in this years tournament. This team is led by Jelena Mamic (5’8″, G, 2013) and Nancy Kessler (6’3″, F, 2014). Mamic’s strong and physical style of game will be well served against the teams in this tournament. In addition, she can make mid-range shots on a consistent basis. Kessler will bring a great work ethic to each game, consistently running the floor and rebounding. If she can continue to score in the inside, it will give St. Francis scoring opportunities from the 3-point line. The Phoenix come into this tournament on a high, having already claimed two Niagara area tournament titles as they look to the ultimate goal of improving upon last year’s Bronze Medal, OFSAA 2A performance.
North Toronto Norsemen
North Toronto are the new kids on the block, ready to make a name for themselves. North Toronto have been turning heads with a couple of positive results of late, and will look to use this tournament to continue to build upon. Look for Chloe Hall (6’0″, F, 2014) among the Norsemen to impact her team. Hall, is a hard worker that shoots well. She makes the most of her high basketball IQ, and will need to do so while engaging her team that will need to be at their best in order to advance out of this pool.
This team has had to adjust to a new style of game. After losing their version of the “twin towers” to graduation last school year, the Trojans have reinvented themselves into an uptempo team. Rochelle Reece (5’9″, PG, 2013) will need to be able to attack in the half court by creating for her herself and others. Along with Reece are four rising stars in the backcourt Chelayne Bailey (5’7″, PG, 2015) , Jada Diamond Dunn (5’8″, G, 2015), Alana Hendricks (5’7″, PG, 2015) and Ebony Walker (5’11″, G/F, 2015). All four of these guards can score in transition, which will be this team’s key to success. The inside will be the responsibility of Nikita Telesford (6’1″, F, 2012), who will be looked upon to rebound and defend opposing teams post players.
Bill Crothers “Team of Excellence”
Crothers is a talented team. Senior Carlie Nugent’s (5’10″, G/F, 2013) size and shooting ability makes her a very difficult cover for most teams and has shown flashes of being a big time scoring threat. Katrina Murrell (6’0″, G/F, 2013) is the teams inside threat along with August Ricketts (6’0″, F, 2014). Murrell and Ricketts are both scoring threats in the post and from the mid range. On the perimeter Samantha and Hailey Robertson will be looked upon to create a threat from the mid-range and getting the ball to inside players. Also at the Guard spots, look for spark plugs Yasmina Salhia (5’8″, G, 2015) and Karen Tzvetkov (5’5″, G, 2015) to be a thorn in opponents sides. Lastly, Nada Radonjic (6’2″, F, 2015), is a very difficult cover due to her ball handling, size and shooting ability. This team can score in bunches, however, the real answer is can they defend and be the tougher team.
St Christopher Cyclones
Caroline Hummell (6’1″, G, St Christopher, 2014) has size, talent and is not afraid to shoot. She has plenty of big game experience and will lead by example. She is one of those players that can play a number of positions thanks to her IQ, ball-handling capabilities and shooting from close or long range. She is also the centerpeice of the Sarnia, ON Cyclones that has just won the St Michaels Invitational Tournament in Stratford, ON (Oct 13, 2012).