Heyes goes out with a bang
Saint Francis’ Anthony Heyes completed his high school basketball career Tuesday night at Saint Paul with an MVP performance in the Top 10 game of the 2023 Niagara All-Star Showcase.
Heyes poured in 21 points to power Team Black to a 117-106 victory over Team White.
The game was bittersweet.
“It is upsetting but it is also was a good four years. I am happy with it.”
He had a blast playing Saint Francis basketball.
“We are winners. That is what we do. I love being there and it is amazing.”
Heyes capped his high school career with a gold medal at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations AA championships.
“I can’t even describe the feeling of that. It still doesn’t feel real to me,” the 18-year-old said.
Heyes is hoping to play at the post secondary level and is still deciding on whether he’s heading to Carleton, Brock or Waterloo.
“I am not sure which one. It is whatever feels best for me when I talk to the coaches and see what is going on. I’m just trying to look at whatever is best for me in the future.”
Tuesday’s Top 10 game was more of a dunking display and one-on-one showcase than an actual basketball game.
“There was no defence at all. We were all just throwing lobs and trying to have fun,” Heyes said. “Honestly it was really good. I felt my team connected well at the end and we came back and won it.
“Coach (Jon) Marcheterre came in saying we want to win it but we kind of came out flat and playing goofy but we got the W and that’s all that matters.”
His mindset going in wasn’t overly competitive.
“I was just trying to go out and have fun with all my teammates and all the guys I play rep basketball with.”
Winning MVP honourable mention as the top player on Team White was A.N. Myer’s Mani Maynard, who poured in a game high 32 points.
“I was really just trying to have fun,” the 17-year-old, Grade 12 student said. “A lot of these guys I’ve been playing with since fourth or fifth grade. It was the last time to play basketball with these guys.
“I was just have as much fun as possible.”
Maynard is going to miss his basketball buddies.
“I know all these guys so it’s going to be hard (leaving) after playing with these guys every day,” he said.
Maynard’s high school career ended in disappointment when the Marauders dropped a heartbreaking 55-54 decision to Notre Dame at the Southern Ontario Secondary School Association AAA final on their home court
“It’s still kind of hanging in there,” Maynard admitted. “I think it’s going to hang in there for a long time. It’s a little frustrating we couldn’t get the last one of the year but starting to move on to next year and bigger things.”
Maynard plans to join an Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association prep school next year and is currently mulling over offers.
Winning the three-point contest with 17 was Churchill’s Sir Winston Churchill’s Mazen Yagubi. In the preliminaries, the top shooters were A.N. Myer’s Mani Maynard (15), Saint Francis’ Jack Ciocca (15), Yagubi (15) and Eden’s Luke Midgley (14),
Donations were accepted for Gillian’s Place and $500 was raised.
The games were made possible by: Saint Paul and its principal Lou Stranges for hosting the event; St. Catharines CYO Basketball for supplying the all-star shirts; the Niagara District Referees Association for donating their time to officiate the games; and, Pat Sullivan from Saint Francis, who stepped in late to organize the event.
Team Black 117 Team White 106
Player of the Game: Team Black’s Anthony Heyes of St. Francis with 21.
For Team Black: West Niagara’s Khabeer Phull 23; Heyes 21; Denis Morris’ Michael Ukiomogbe 17; Greater Fort Erie’s Kyle Barrett 15; Saint Paul’s Joey Primerano 10; Sir Winston Churchill’s Brady Pupek 8; Sir Winston Churchill’s Mazen Yagubi 7; St. Francis’ Jack Ciocca 4; Bennett Pisek 4; St. Francis Andrew Ens 2;
For Team White: A.N. Myer’s Mani Maynard 32; Eden’s Caleb Stewart 16; Eden’s Chad Thorpe 15; Notre Dame’s Adam Ponting 12; Blessed Trinity’s Mawana Chidovi; 8; Eden’s Luke Midgley 7; E.L. Crossley’s Samuel Jeffrey 5; Eden’s Aakash Senthil 5; Notre Dame’s Andrew Benko 5.