Maltby leads Reds to consolation crown
Dylan Maltby could not have scripted a more appropriate denouement to his high school basketball career.
The 18-year-old, Grade 12B student poured in a tournament-high 38 points to lead the Denis Morris Reds to a 78-54 win over the Blessed Trinity Thunder in the senior consolation championship at the BSPN Best of Niagara Boys Basketball Tournament Friday at the St. Catharines Collegiate.
“It feels so great,” Maltby said. “I could not have asked for a better way for it to end.”
Maltby set the stage early for his heroics, pouring in 17 in the first quarter alone after feeling it preparing before the game.
“It was before the game, in the change room. The boys were getting me hyped and we were all getting each other up in spirits and it just started at the start,” he said. “Honestly, that felt great. It’s been a long few games, probably two games where my shot was off, so it felt so good.”
Denis Morris coach Michael Doodeman was thrilled for his graduating guard.
“He’s unstoppable,” Doodeman said. “It’s not the prettiest jump shot but it goes in every time when he’s on fire.
“I’m very proud of him. He’s a leader and he deserves it.”
The Reds got off to a disappointing start in the tournament Monday, losing when Ridley College’s Jude Mbaziira hit a three-point shot with 7.1 seconds in the game to lift the Tigers to an upset 49-48 victory at DM.
Maltby said that loss was an eye-opener.
“Once we lost, we said we’re losing no more,” he said. “We weren’t going to let another game go. We let that one slip and it did not feel good.”
Maltby, who plans to major in psychology at Guelph next season but isn’t sure if he’s going to play basketball, also enjoyed seeing his teammates hit the scoresheet. Joshua Kaufman was also in double digits with 15 points while seven players tallied at least one point.
“I like it when it’s in my teammates hands. I like to see my teammates score. That gets me going,” he said.
Maltby admitted he wasn’t sure if he would ever play with his DM squad again thanks to the COVID pandemic which wiped out all of last season and interrupted part of this year’s schedule.
“I couldn’t even tell you (how much I missed it),” he said. “It was only outside basketball and you know how that is. You can only do that seasonal so it feels good to be back in the gym when it’s cold out.”
The Reds led 26-12 after one quarter, 40-31 at the half and 61-43 after three quarters.
“They play a 1-3-1 defence and have a couple of quick guards so we wanted to move the ball around and find some seems,” Doodeman said.
Reds 78 Thunder 54
Cat’s Caboose Player of the Game: Denis Morris’ Dylan Maltby with 38 points.
For the Denis Morris Reds: Maltby 38; Joshua Kaufman 15; Max Barnowski 8; Mike Ukiomogbe 8; Campbell Hastings 5; Ben Vreeken 3; Matteo Pingue 2.
For the Blessed Trinity Thunder: Nathaniel Enns 13; Luc DiFlavio 10; Michael Gore 6; Caleb Olomide 6; Michael Akinpetide 5; Benito DiFlavio 4; Benjamin Peters 3; Joseph Cino 3; Mawana Chidovi 2; Jacob Persaud 2.
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