Written by Jaspreet Grewal
Clarkson Shines as CIA Bounce Defeat SWB In a 16 Point Blowout
It was an awe-inspiring Thursday night at Kerr Hall for the semi-finals round of the OVO Bounce tournament. The air was filled with exuberance as fans waited anxiously to see the likes of Phoenix Sun’s guard , Tyler Ennis, Charlotte Hornets prized possession, Noah Vonleh and La Lakers high-flyer, Jordan Clarkson put their talents on display for the locals. Much to the audience’s delight, all three were in full force on Thursday night as CIA Bounce was able get the 16 point win, 99-83, over a buoyant SWB squad.
Clarkson led the charge for Bounce with a game high 35 points, including a series of heart-stirring dunks that seemingly shook the foundation of Ryerson’s Kerr Hall. Montaque “Teki” Gill-Caesar and Will Clyburn also chipped in on the scoring end with 15 and 14, respectively.
Tyrone Watson was the high man for SWB with 17 points, while Kevin Foster did his part for the men in blue with a 16 point contribution.
Quarter number one provided a compelling battle between two physical and gritty teams. Clarkson got things going early with a collection baskets – including a one handed fast break dunk that amplified a passionate and captivated audience- to help Bounce gain a quick 9-4 lead over SWB. It became increasingly difficult for anyone on SWB to attack the rim and, subsequently, put the ball in the hoop; much of this toil could be attributed to the fact that 7,5″ Centre Sim Bhullar clogged up the paint for the better half of the first quarter.
However, after three quick fouls on Bhullar who – because of the pace of the game- didn’t see much court time after the first quarter, SWB was able to open up the lanes with lightening quick guard Miguel Paul picking apart CIA Bounce on any given opportunity. As such, SWB only found themselves down five, 22-17, heading into the second quarter where things began to change dramatically.
Former Indiana Hoosier, Noah Vonleh, wasn’t much of a threat on the offensive side of things throughout this game, but his presence on the defensive end and on the glass proved to be too much for SWB to contain. Vonleh played the role of a defensive anchor as he altered and blocked several shots near the basket for CIA Bounce in the second.
Despite a galliant effort from Foster to help SWB stay afloat , Clarkson could not be stopped as he consistently found the bottom of the net throughout the quarter- including an almost half-court alley-oop slam dunk courtesy of Ennis, who was relatively quiet on the scoring end in this game. With that, CIA Bounce found themselves up seventeen, 51-34, heading into the final twenty minutes of regulation.
It became alarmingly obvious that SWB struggled immensely with the length and sheer size of CIA Bounce, thus forcing them to find alternate ways of putting the ball in the hoop.Vonleh was relentless in his approach on the boards, making sure that the men in blue were denied any second chance opportunities.
Clarkson briefly took the role of point guard when he graciously threw an alley-oop lob to Ennis on a two on one fast-break which, as a result, sent shockwaves throughout Kerr Hall’s gymnasium. It became apparent that CIA Bounce’s full court press- one which they utilized for much of the game- caused too many issues for a struggling SWB squad. The men in blue were down nineteen, 74-55, heading into the final frame with little to no hope for a comeback.
Despite a quick 8-1 run initiated by Foster and company, it was the pure talent and basketball savvy of Clarkson that helped CIA Bounce prevent any chance of a SWB comeback. The Laker phenom was seemingly dancing with the ball near the latter part of the game, thereby prompting SWB to double team and trap him. But this didn’t deter Clarkson at all as he swooped in for a few baseline throw downs- including an innovative sideways windmill that brought added energy to an already enthusiastic audience.
By the quarter’s end, CIA Bounce showed their overall dominance on both ends of the floor with a 99-83 win over a SWB squad that fought tirelessly until the very end.
Written by Jaspreet Grewal
Team OVO’s Two Man Wrecking Crew Proves to be Too Much for #Laserfocused to Overcome
It was one of the more peculiar performances by a team this week at the OVO Bounce tournament. The dynamic duo of Brandon Jennings and Morgan Lewis made for an eventful and exhilarating 40 minutes of action, as Team OVO reigned supreme over #Laserfocused, 106-85, in the semi-finals. In a tale of two halves, the three point barrage put on by both guards proved to be the deciding factor in the win for OVO.
The two-man wrecking crew of Jennings and Lewis combined for 71 of their team’s 106 points, with both players connecting on an inconceivable amount of three point field goals (15 total to be exact). Jennings finished the contest with a tournament high 37 points, with 19 coming in the first half, while Lewis wasn’t bashful himself as he chipped in with 34 points. Evidently, it was obvious that both were in a zone far beyond our comprehension. As fans, there wasn’t much we could do but sit back and enjoy the show.
“Big Mike” Fraser led #Laserfocused in scoring with 20 points while also maintaining obedience to his rebounding duties. Tut Ruach demonstrated his scoring prowess, as well, with a stellar 19 point performance and, not to mention, displaying an already polished floor game which he developed exceedingly at Father Geotz (HS) in Mississauga, Ontario.
The first quarter was an all out shooting affair for both squads as spectators had trouble figuring out which of the two teams were better than the other. Jennings and Lewis led the charge for OVO early with a couple of strong drives to the basket, prompting #Laserfocused to place more emphasis on perimeter defense.
Ruach was a man on a mission for #Laserfocused as he did his best to disrupt any run or momentum swing carried out by OVO. After a somewhat tedious back and forth affair, OVO found themselves with a one point lead, 19-18, heading into the second.
Cleveland Cavalier’s Forward Tristan Thompson was also in the house on Thursday night for Team OVO, assumingly replacing an absent Amir Johnson. Although Thompson struggled to string a few baskets together throughout the game, his brute physicality coupled with his willingness to rebound the ball made it difficult for #Laserfocused to score inside (with the exception of Fraser).
Ultimately, the second quarter was a spitting image of the first ten minutes of action, where we witnessed two evenly matched teams go back and forth at each other. After a long distance three from Jennings- one of seven made three’s for the lefty guard- OVO maintained a two point lead, 44-42, heading into the second half.
Where in the first half we witnessed a back and forth affair between two seemingly evenly matched teams. it was all OVO in the second half.
The third started off in an almost similar fashion to the previous two quarters, where we witnessed both teams exchanging baskets for a multitude of possessions. But everything changed drastically when both Jennings and Lewis got red hot from beyond the arc. This is essentially when Team OVO separated themselves from #Laserfocused.
Four consecutive three pointers in the third quarter from Ohio native, Lewis, destroyed any chance of a #Laserfocused comeback.
After a monstrous alley-oop dunk from Lewis courtesy of Jennings, OVO regained complete control of the game with a 24 point lead, 75-51, heading into the fourth and final ten minutes of regulation.
A seemingly ongoing trend throughout the contest, both Jennings and Lewis had their fingerprints on almost every possession for OVO in the fourth quarter.
Jennings was firing on all cylinders while also trash talking anyone who dared to guard him. As the lead grew larger and larger for OVO. it became evident that #Laserfocused ran out of gas and, ultimately, lost the will to win.
As a result, OVO was able to get the 21 point victory (106-85) over the lesser talented #Laserfocused squad.
Be sure to check out the championship game Friday evening between Team OVO and CIA Bounce. Kerr Hall @ 6:30.
Written by Jaspreet Grewal
Posted by Drew Ebanks