Simcoe’s Max factor
Max Grant had gone from a Red to a Redcoat.
After playing last season with the Denis Morris Reds senior basketball team, the Grade 11 guard is now suiting up for the Governor Simcoe Redcoats.
“We are really lucky to have him,” Simcoe head coach Shaun Feor said. “He moved over into our district and it was unfortunate for Denis Morris because he is a great player.”
The six foot Grant admitted it was tough to leave his friends at DM, but he quickly found a new home.
“It was a little bit hard, but the environment at Governor Simcoe was very welcoming. All the guys helped me out with the transition,” the 16-year-old said Wednesday, after scoring eight points to help the Redcoats open the 64th Annual Welland Tribune Basketball Tournament with a 72-39 triumph over the host Jean Vanier Lynx.
He was comfortable with his new team at the very first practice.
“I play with all of them a lot at the Y and playing against them I was used to all their faces,” he said. “Knowing them and playing against them made it easy to bring it all together as one.”
Grant has been a welcome addition to the Redcoats.
“He is hard-nosed and works hard on both sides of the floor,” Feor said. “We are still working on his game, especially his shooting, but it’s tough to stop that kid from driving to the hoop.”
Feor describes Grant’s arrival as a pleasant surprise and feels Grant has added leadership and work ethic to the Simcoe team.
“He is one of those guys that pushes other guys to be better.”
Grant believes he also adds some excitement to the squad.
“I’m always hyping them up and making them more excited and I try to bring the confidence of other players up,” he said. “Even if I am not feeling confident that game, I will try to bring someone else’s confidence up.”
Grant knows he has to improve his shooting to take the next step as a basketball player.
“That is something that I have always wanted to work on and this year I feel it is something that is definitely going to get better in the second half of the season.”
He also wants to get better attacking the basket with his left hand and attacking after catching the basketball.
Grant used to focus his sporting attentions on soccer but basketball has now become his favourite sport.
“I fell in love with the excitement and energy in the gym and it brings out the most in me.”
Jean Vanier head coach Eric Labonte expected to be in tough against the Redcoats Wednesday and needed the most and then some from his team.
‘I knew it was going to be a big battle going into this game,” he said. “Obviously Governor Simcoe has a good reputation, their program is well-established and they have good practice habits which is almost the opposite of us this year.
“I haven’t had a full practice will all my group and we’ve only had four practices this year.”
That makes things tough for the Lynx.
“It’s really hard to go into battle when you don’t have the tools to battle with,” Labonte said. “We rely a lot on our athleticism and clearly today it wasn’t enough to put together a victory.
“We are moving on and we will see what happens tomorrow.”
The Lynx will meet the Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs in a buyout game at Vanier at 12:45 p.m. Thursday.
Redcoats 72 Lynx 39
Mountainview Homes Players of the Game: Simcoe’s Cal Anderson and Jean Vanier’s Jacob Labonte.
For the Governor Simcoe Redcoats: Andrew Scott (12), Deryck Burke (11), Cal Anderson (9), Max Grant (8), Duncan Beliveau (8), Mitch McPherson (6), Darren Johnston (5), Mason MacEachern (4), Ryan Hexamer (3), Moe Benthalim (3), Steve Christie (2).
For the Jean Vanier Lynx: Jacob Labonte (14), Raymond Tellier (7), Xavier Henoud (7), Gregoire Belanger (5), Ray St-Louis (4) and Simon Veillette (2).
REDS 57 GRYPHONS 48
The Denis Morris Reds advanced to the championship quarterfinals of the 64th Annual Welland Tribune Basketball Tournament with a 57-48 victory over the Greater Fort Erie Gryphons Wednesday at Notre Dame.
Scoring for the Reds were Brian Shkabari (18), Michael Conlon (17), Noah Honsberger (15), Thomas Davidson (3), Elijah Benoit (2) and Nathan Charette (2).
Replying for Greater Fort Erie were Austin Ladouceur (16), Micah Stewart (14), Zachary Tyrell (10), Avery Steinback-Parker (6) and Ethan VanNatter (2).
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