Review basketball tourney has two top seeds
The Saint Paul Patriots and Saint Michael Mustangs are two of the teams competing in the Niagara Falls Review Basketball Tournament. The annual event runs Thursday and Friday at Westlane. Photos by BERNIE PUCHALSKI.
City bragging rights are on the line when the Niagara Falls Review Basketball Tournament kicks off Thursday afternoon at Westlane.
“When we restarted it, we wanted to have a little Niagara Falls area tournament,” organizer Jamie Coull said. “In the past, they used to have teams from all over and from Toronto. Past champions include Runnymede, Oakwood and teams like that.”
Tournament organizers have designated Centennial and Saint Paul as the top seeds in the tournament. It was impossible to name just one team because the two squads have not played each other this season. The two squads are odds-on favourites to meet in the overall Zone 3 AA final.
Thursday’s schedule includes: Niagara Christian Collegiate vs. Centennial at 1:30 p.m.; Saint Michael vs. Greater Fort Erie at 3 p.m.; Stamford vs. Saint Paul at 4:30 p.m; and, Westlane vs. Myer at 6 p.m.
The tournament concludes Friday. On the championship side, semifinals will be played at 11:30 and 1 p.m., the third-place game will go at 5:30 p.m. followed by the championship game at 7 p.m. In consolation play, the semifinals will be held at 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. followed by the seventh-place game at 2:30 p.m. and the consolation final at 4 p.m.
Admission for the tournament is $2 for adults and $1 for students and all proceeds are used to fund bursaries. Since the tournament was restarted in 2007, the tournament has given out about $30,000 in bursaries.
Below is a brief look at the teams competing in the tournament”
A.N. MYER MARAUDERS
Season Record: 6-8, including 3-3 in Niagara Region High School Athletic Association Zone 3 play.
Highlights to date: Second place in Bob Coull Invitational.
Team philosophy: Focus on team defence and quality shot selection.
Strength: Team defence.
Top players: Ryan Shannon, Tom Rigas-DiDomenico, and Nick Murdaca.
Season record: 21-4, including 7-0 in NRHSAA Zone 3 play.
Highlights to date: Winner of Cougar Classic and Tribune tournament; finalist at Standard tournament.
Team philosophy: Up- tempo style with emphasis on sharing the ball to create balance in scoring; executing sound defensive principles and working hard to ensure success.
Strengths: Balanced scoring; team chemistry.
Top players: Kennan Larmand, Jacob Bray, Connor Joliffe and Reese Radobenko.
GREATER FORT ERIE
Team record: 11-6, including 4-3 in NRHSAA Zone 3 play.
Highlights to date: Made consolation finals at Standard and Tribune tourneys, winning the Standard.
Team philosophy: Push the ball when it can and shoot when open.
Strength: Strong at the guard spot.
Top players: PG Austin Ladouceur (Grade 10) is best shooting threat; SG Ethan VanNatter is athletic and also a good outside threat; and, G Baley Wangler does a great job of getting to the net.
NIAGARA CHRISTIAN COLLEGIATE
Season record: 7-2, including 2-2 in NRHSAA Zone 3 play.
Highlights to date: Winning Stamford Hornets Demartino Invitational.
Team philosophy: Every player has a role; run and gun offence.
Team strengths: Depth; guard play, quickness.
Top players: Neil Wangler, Natsumi Sugisaki and D.J. Behal.
Season Record: 5-7, including 2-4 in Niagara Catholic Athletic Association play.
Highlights to date: Welland Tribune Tournament consolation champions.
Team philosophy: Force turnovers and limit opponents field goal percentage; run the floor.
Strengths: Ball Pressure; three-point shooting; half-court defence.
Top players: Dusan Krkljus, Jomer Mateo, R.J. Mateo.
Team record: 13-8, including 5-1 in NCAA play.
Highlights to date: Finalist in the Referees Memorial Tournament held in Hamilton; consolation champs of The Mike Sullivan Memorial Tournament held at St. Francis.
Team philosophy: Play hard and play to its potential.
Strength: Competes hard; defence.
Top players: Richard Werner, Victor Kariuki, Will Schmahl.
Season record: 3-2 in NRHSAA Zone 3 play.
Highlights to date: Second place at Stamford’s Vito DiMartino basketball tournament.
Team philosophy: Take it one game at a time and continue to learn and develop from each game.
Team strengths: Strong inside presence; good ball handling.
Top players: We rely on a strong team effort for each game.
Season record: 2-12, including 0-6 in NRHSAA Zone 3 play.
Team philosophy: Win or learn and never lose (doing a lot of learning this year).
Team strengths: Good post quickness, Good depth
Top players: Hussein Sheikh-Ali, Taz Cain, Dudley Kou.