Raptors 905 dominate the Mad Ants 113-95, led by Lorenzo Brown’s 28pt outburst

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MISSISSAUGA – If you glance over the results of the previous two matchups between the Raptors 905 and the Fort Wayne Mad Ants – and nothing else – it would be difficult gain a firm pulse on both teams – mostly because of the point differential in game one (Mad Ants win 104-77) compared to game two (905 win 98-94).

But Monday’s matchup offered a more accurate illustration of both clubs and where they measure up against each other in the standings. Interestingly enough, both teams entered the night with identical records (16-12) and were certainly targeting this game as an opportunity to create separation in the shuffling Eastern Conference.

Led by Lorenzo Brown’s near triple-double (28 points, eight rebounds, and nine assists), the Raptors 905 cruised to the 113-95 victory over the visiting Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

Kennedy Meeks had 15 points in just 17 minutes of action while Shevon Thompson and Fuquan Edwin added 14 and 13, respectively.

Walter Lemon Jr. steered the Mad Ants on the scoring end, recording a team-high 22 points (9/16 FG) while also chipping in with five rebounds and four assists. DeQuan Jones contributed with 22 points (7/14 FG) in 31 minutes of time.

The 905 relied heavily on their size against a significantly smaller front-court led by the pairing of Jarrod Uthoff and Jones. Not only did they assert their dominance on the glass in the first half – outdueling Fort Wayne 32-18 and carrying a seven-point advantage into the break – but they continued that trend in the ensuing half, as well, winning the battle 54-36.

“[Fort Wayne] plays a little small. They have Uthoff at the five a lot, so we thought that was an opportunity where we [could] come in and really try to get points in the paint as well as rebound,” said Head Coach Jerry Stackhouse, whose club commanded the paint with a 64-46 advantage.

“Although I didn’t expect us to win the rebounding margin as large as we did, I’m glad we were able to show our dominance.”

Lemon Jr. – who entered the night averaging 22.4 points and 6.3 assists – was key in keeping the Mad Ants within striking distance early on, carrying his team to single digits after two quarters of play and fulfilling his role as one of the premier scorers in the NBA G-League.

The lefty poured in 12 of his 22 before halftime and was on track to carry out an equally strong performance through the final two frames, but the 905 did an exceptional job of slowing the 6-foot-3 guard down, and as a result, mitigated the Mad Ants’ scoring chances.

The 905 kept their foot on the gas in both the third and fourth quarters, outscoring the visitors 59-48 and eventually blowing the game open by the end of the frame with a 15-point advantage.

Key in the scoring charge were Brown and Meeks – both of whom used sheer size and strength to manufacture paint opportunities.

Brown didn’t rely on his perimeter game to put points on the board; instead, the 27-year old showed some wizardry in the paint, attacking the Mad Ants front court persistently and forcing defenders to scramble on each purposeful drive. Brown was remarkable in his brilliance and refused to conform to the ineffective Fort Wayne defence.

“I thought [Brown] really imposed his will on the game there in that third quarter and that was the difference,” said Stackhouse. “it gave us the separation to where we could almost cruise to this victory.”

Though the 905 turned the ball over 17 times in the victory – which the Mad Ants were able to pounce on with 21 points – Fort Wayne was unable to establish resistance down low and paid dearly for it.

The Mad Ants finished the night shooting 39.8 per cent from the field, while the 905, who were significantly better, connected on 52.2 per cent shooting by the end of it.

In other news: The Raptors 905 made a minor (but, not really) roster change on Saturday. They acquired a 2018 third-round draft pick from the Oklahoma City Blues in exchange for the returning player rights to Mustafa Shakur. Shakur had never played for the 905 prior to the transaction.

Written by Jas Grewal

Photo by Cameron Bartlett (@snappedbycam)

NBA G League Showcase Women’s Leadership Forum Speaker Series Friday Jan 12th, 2018

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Showcasing Success Women’s Leadership Forum Speaker Series

Friday January 12th 2017 at 6pm at the Mississauga Sportszone at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, On.

Ladies and Gentlemen interested in the sports industry. Great opportunity to sit in on a great forum featuring league president, former NBA player turn NBA G league GM and others.

Join us on Jan 12th as we celebrate the successes of prominent female leaders in the sports industry and discuss the evolving role of women in sport.

ADDRESS: 5600 Rose Cherry Pl, Mississauga, ON L4Z 4B6

FOR MAP & DIRECTIONS Click HERE

Hear from following leaders in the industry:

Malcolm Turner, President NBA G League
Stacey Lovelace, Player Development Specialist NBA G League
Bethany Donaphin, Associate VP of Basketball Operations NBA
Nicki Gross, Assistant Coach Raptors 905

Registration includes drink, appetizers and ticket to game.

COST: $50 PER PERSON

To register go to: CLICK HERE

#ballers #hoops #basketball #ballislife #mississauga #sauga #saugacity #canada #raptors905 #nbagleague #gleague #roadtothesix #wethenorth #gleague #hersheycentre #gleagueshowcase #womeninsports

onpointbasketball.com

Courtesy Raptors 905

NBA G League Showcase January 10th-13th at Hershey Centre

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ON POINT EVENT BULLETIN: RAPTORS 905 HOST THE NBA G LEAGUE SHOWCASE for the 2nd straight year from Wednesday January 10th to Saturday January 13th 2018 at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.

Who’s getting the next call up to the@NBA?? It’s time to SHINE in Mississauga this week at the 14th annual#GLeagueShowcase (Jan. 10th-13th), our marquee in-season scouting event!

ADDRESS: 5500 Rose Cherry Pl, Mississauga, ON L4Z 4B6

For Directions to the Hershey Centre Click HERE

#ballers #hoops #basketball #ballislife#mississauga #sauga #saugacity #canada#raptors905 #nbagleague #gleague ???????? #roadtothesix #wethenorth
#hersheycentre #gleague .
.
CHECK IT OUT FOLKS!!! Go to raptors905.com or nbagleague.com for event info and tickets. 17 games in total. Various packages.

Direct ticket link click HERE

Courtesy NBA G League

onpointasketball.com

DVD Hangtime: 50 Years in Toronto Basketball History

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                        HANG TIME: 50 YEARS IN TORONTO BASKETBALL HISTORY                           DVD ORDER FORM (2-DVD Set, Total time 3hrs)

Hang Time: 50 Years of Toronto Basketball is a three-hour digital presentation chronicling the rich history of Toronto basketball and the phenomena of a metropolis growing from grassroots to pro hoops. A spin-off from veteran basketball play-by-play commentator Dana McKiel’s self-published bestseller released in 2001, Hang Time reveals thrilling championships, amazing dunks, spectacular triumphs and the legends behind the rise of basketball to the most popular sport in Toronto. Length approx. 3hrs (1 ½ hrs per DVD).

Executive Producer: Dana McKiel

Event Producer: Lance Winn

Event Technical Producer: Brendan Peltier

Event Producer/Lead Editor: Neil Folkard

DVD Produced by Drew Ebanks for On Point Basketball Inc. Filmed and edited by Lance Winn & The Paper Crane & Co./Marc Cusi.

Sponsor Credits: Newport Wealth Management, Barrick Gold, Sterling Dental, Toronto Eyecare, On Point Basketball.

Special thanks to Dana McKiel. Hangtime Copyright 2001 by Dana Mckiel. All Rights Reserved.

DVD Order Form Link (Google Docs): Click HERE

We will contact you upon order submission to confirm payment method and delivery.

Thanks for your support!

 

Drew Ebanks

Toronto’s Josh Hemmings & Oak Hill Academy End 2017 With LSI Championship

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(HILLSBORO, OR) — Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Ben Simmons, Michael Porter Jr. – those are just a few eye-popping names from distinct eras of basketball supremacy who have graced the hardwood at Liberty High School, home of the Les Schwab Invitational (LSI) in Oregon. One of the top high school holiday basketball tournaments in North America, the LSI features both in-state and national teams. Since its inception 22 years ago, this hoops competition has become a routine recruiting ground for local NCAA Div. I, Div. II, Div. III, and JUCO coaches.

For the seventh time in tournament history, the Oak Hill Academy Warriors led by Keldon Johnson, took home the championship. Oak Hill cruised past local Oregon teams in Barlow, Southridge, and Grant en-route to a battle with California’s Mater Dei Monarchs. Mater Dei, which had lost 5-star recruit Bol Bol and dynamic guard P.J. Fuller via transfers had led early, but Oak Hill came out on top with a 67-55 win.

Josh Hemmings

Top-down, Oak Hill’s roster is loaded with a talented starting lineup consisting of players who have signed with Div. I schools including Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, and Oregon in the class of 2018.

The team’s depth extends to its underclassmen, high school sophomores who have been on the radar of various college coaches for quite some time.

Among those players is 6’9” forward Josh Hemmings, who hails from Toronto, Canada. Hemmings and Lindell Wigginton are two of the Canadians who played on this prestigious team during the 2016-17 season. The latter has gone off to Iowa State and has averaged 15.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists so far in his freshman year.

Hemmings, in his second season with Oak Hill, appreciates the time he and Wigginton had together as teammates.

“It was a great opportunity to learn from someone who is experienced,” Hemmings said. “He’s doing big things at Iowa State and I look to just keep going and following his image.”

As for the team, the Warriors obviously have high aspirations. They dominated at the Chick-Fil-A Classic before arriving at Hillsboro, Oregon. The goal is to stay undefeated and ultimately win the 2018 Dicks Nationals, an objective echoed by tournament MVP Keldon Johnson.

“We’ve been doing really well, said Hemmings.” “We’re undefeated so far. We’ve played a lot better than last season.

In early October, Canada Basketball held its Junior National Open ID Camp in Toronto, Canada. This event provided Hemmings the opportunity to see his friends and have family members come out and watch him compete against the country’s most elite.

“It was great playing with guys I haven’t seen in a while and playing for Canada,” he said.

The camp was a primer in preparation for this summer’s FIBA U18 Americas in St. Catharines, Ontario and FIBA U17 World Cup in Argentina – two tournaments we could potentially see Hemmings participate in.

Being on such a star-studded squad, minutes can be hard to come by. In limited time, Hemmings was impressive and efficient at the LSI. The lefty averaged 4.0 points, 3.7 rebounds in 5.7 minutes during three contests on 50.0% shooting from the field. His length stood out as well as an ability to spread the floor, showcase constant activity on the glass, and take high-percentage shots within the offense.

For young players, being mentally and physically prepared is imperative to production when called upon in a game. “It’s hard. You got to keep loose because you get tight sometimes,” said Hemmings. “When you get on, you got to just be ready, be aggressive, and keep doing what you’re doing on the court.”

Looking forward, Hemmings is eager to build off of his current college offers. “I have UCLA so far, Tulane, USC, Cincinnati, and Georgia Tech. Those are my top five schools so far,” he said.

“I want to develop my game so that next year I can be a bigger part of the team. And I just want to keep getting better.”

Tournament Notes/Observations:

  • MVP: Keldon Johnson – Oak Hill
  • All-Tournament Team:
    • Kamaka Hepa – Jefferson
    • Michael Wang – Mater Dei
    • Aaron Deloney – Grant
    • Brandon Williams – Crespi
    • Keyontae Johnson – Oak Hill
  • Oregon high school basketball switched to three referees last year
    • However, there is no shot clock used in US high/prep school basketball
  • Former Grant General guard and ex-Sun Mike James made an appearance as one of the judges for the Slam Dunk Contest.
    • Oak Hill’s Keldon Johnson won the matinee highlighted by two perfect scores of 50 points and a dunk over six kids.
  • Ben Simmons, who participated in 2014 LSI, came to watch Day 1 of the tourney as the Sixers were in town to play the Blazers.
  • West Linn starting center Keishon Dawkins is a multi-sport athlete.
    • Signed with Oregon State as a tight end
  • Brandon Williams (Crespi), a 2018 Arizona signee, led the tournament with 27.8 points per game in 4 contests.
  • Kamaka Hepa (Jefferson), who is going to Texas this fall, had 5.0 blocks per game, which was 3.2 blocks more than the next top player.
    • Arguably the top senior in Oregon, Hepa was very agile and versatile – displayed an ability to stretch the floor, make plays off the high post, rebound (9.3/game), and rim protect.
    • Also heard numerous positive mentions of Hepa as a student-athlete and person.
  • Micah Garrett (West Linn) is an underclassman to keep an eye on.
    • The sophomore has offers from Wake Forest, Tulane, Oregon State among others.
    • Showed impressive ability to attack in transition and finishes well at the rim.
  • A note on coaching:

“Culture is a popular word this day and age, but the biggest thing about coaching high school kids is letting them know that you care about them and being present enough in their lives so that you can really be attentive to what they have to say.” 

– Lake Oswego head coach Marshall Cho

Written by Conrad Chow

Edited by Drew Ebanks

Photos by Conrad Chow

Cover Photo Courtesy Les Schwab Invitational-Waz Mix Hoops

Video courtesy of Vertex

 

Raptors 905 down the Lakeland Magic for their 7th win in a row

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After beginning the month in a bit of a rut, the Raptors 905 have reemerged as a team on the rise, claiming victories in eight of its last nine contests and winning seven in a row, including Tuesday night’s 91-84 nail biter over the visiting Lakeland Magic.

Davion Berry led all scorers with 19 points, seven coming in the final frame. Not far behind him in the scoring column was backcourt mate Lorenzo Brown, who poured in 16 points to go along with seven dimes while also going perfect (4-4 3PT) from deep.

For Lakeland, TJ Price recorded a team-high 17 points, Jamel Artis added 15, and Adreian Payne chipped in with a double-double, posting 13 points and 11 rebounds in the loss.

Both teams entered tonight’s contest owning a top-5 defence – with the 905 sitting atop the league at opponents points per game (98.1) – and the ugly shooting percentages only substantiated both teams’ ability to defend well.

Lakeland came out with a sense of urgency from opening tip, asserting a paint presence with Payne and trying to take advantage of the sole big (Kennedy Meeks) on the floor for the 905. Behind seven quick points for Artis, the Magic were able to jump to the 28-23 advantage after one quarter.

Davion Berry

It was a struggle for both teams to generate easy or high-percentage shot opportunities all night – and when they did, they often missed the mark.

Though the 905 were able to hold the Magic to 18 points in the second, things weren’t going so smoothly on the other end – resulting in what looked like a carbuncle on the half-time box score where the 905 shot 35.1 per cent, while Lakeland was marginally better at 37.8 per cent. Despite the unpleasant numbers, the 905 only found themselves down 46-43 at the break.

The third quarter turned out to be crucial for the 905, where they shot 50 per cent, racked up eight trips at the charity stripe, and outscored Lakeland 26-20 by the end of the quarter – all while opening the frame on a 15-4 run.

Key in the scoring charge were both Brown and Aaron Best, the latter of who recorded 10 points on the night, including six in the third on a solid serving of straight-line drives to the rim.

The 905 were able to sneak the 69-65 lead into the final quarter of regulation.

Lorenzo Brown

Lakeland were hit hard for a good part of the fourth, at one point trailing 82-73, but the visitors responded in a big way, ultimately trimming the deficit to two, 84-82, with 2:15 remaining in the game and regaining its once seemingly unbending momentum.

Struggling to find the bottom of the net all game, Bruno Caboclo eventually connected on his only triple of the game, helping extend the lead to five, 87-82, before Meeks would score inside to help cap off a 7-2 run for the 905.

Despite shooting poorly all-game long, Caboclo showed up defensively, recording key blocks and steals when the 905 needed it most and using his length to pester defenders, especially inside. He finished with 14 points (4-14 FG/1-10 3PT), seven rebounds and two blocks in 29 minutes.

With Tuesday’s win over the Lakeland Magic, the 905 knot things up with division rivals Maine Red Claws, both of whom own a 12-10 record.

Next game: Erie Bayhawks at Erie Insurance Arena on Friday January 5th, 2017 at 7pm EST.

Written by Jas Grewal

Photos by Calvin Chevannes (CThatArt)

Edited by Drew Ebanks

 

 

Raptors 905 Continue Winning Streak over the Austin Spurs

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Unlike the Raptors 905 offensive explosion in the previous game against the Windy City Bulls, the Mississauga area team’s matchup against the Austin Spurs was a slow-it-down defensive showdown.

But like the win over the Bulls, the result was the same.

The Raptors 905 closed out 2017 with their sixth straight win, beating the Spurs, 93-78, as they improved to 11-10. The last time they were over .500 was on Nov. 14, when they beat the Westchester Knicks, 112-109. Austin fell to 13-9.

Despite shooting just 10 per cent (2-20) from downtown and being outscored 27-6 in that category, the 905 limited Austin to just 34.5 per cent shooting from the field and outrebounded them, 51-43. The Raptors also shot a decent 46.5 per cent from the field and outscored Austin, 66-36, in the paint.

“We depend on our defense to keep us in games, especially when we’re not making shots,” head coach Jerry Stackhouse said. “It was the pace that we wanted. To hold this team that has a lot of capable scorers to under 80 points, we really did a defensive number.”

Lorenzo Brown flirted with a triple-double, finishing with a game high 23 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.

“We just have to find a way. We’re not going to shoot the ball well every night,” Brown said. “We take pride and focus on the defensive end.”

Shevon Thompson once again made a huge impact off of the bench, finishing with a double-double, with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

“Shevon was big for us. He’s a guy that we throw it to in the post and he’s gotten much better at looking for his teammates,” Stackhouse said. “Sometimes, he’s observing a little too much where we want him to go to work a little bit sooner. But I can appreciate from where he started to now, making his teammates better, and protecting the rim for us on the defensive end.”

Lorenzo Brown

Kennedy Meeks also notched a double-double as well, finishing with 13 points and 13 rebounds.

“We try to compete every night. He keeps me going, I keep him going,” Thompson said about the job that he and Meeks do in the paint. “We motivate each other and get ready to play.”

“It was big. We needed every game like that out of them,” Brown said. “They’ve been bringing that so far. Hopefully they keep it up.”

Austin was led by forward Jaron Blossomgame, who had 18 points while Darrun Hilliard had 16 points, eight rebounds, and six assists in the loss.

Olivier Hanlan, a Canadian native from Aylmer, Quebec, scored seven points but was two of 11 from the field, as he was hampered by early foul trouble.

Things got chippy this game as five technical fouls were handed out. Spurs guard Jeff Ledbetter was ejected after his second technical.

Brown and Bruno Caboclo got it going early on, scoring six points each, and held Austin to 40.9 per cent shooting in the quarter. But four offensive rebounds and four triples in the quarter from the Spurs had them up 22-19 after one. A skirmish occurred in the quarter in which Ledbetter and Aaron Best received a tech.

In the second quarter, Austin threatened to pull away as a jumper from Hilliard gave them a 32-26 lead. But Malcolm Miller then made four out of six free throws, including a sequence in which he was fouled hard by Nick Costello on a dunk attempt. That and the foul trouble from Costello and Hanlan, sparked 10 straight points, including consecutive post scores from Thompson to give the 905 the lead for good.  Amida Brimah was then hit with a technical and another skirmish, this time between Caboclo and Ledbetter led to double technicals, resulted in the Spurs guard’s ejection.

The 905 headed into halftime, up 45-40. Brown and Hilliard each had a game high 12 points.

Aylmer, Quebec native Olivier Hanlan

The third quarter saw the 905 slowly build up their lead to double digits. A 16-7 run from the Raptors, lead by five points from Meeks, gave the team a 61-47 lead before eventually going into the fourth quarter, up 67-55. Brown had four assists in the quarter alone.

Austin cut the 905 lead to nine after a triple from Hanlan but the Raptors used a 14-6 run to put the game out of reach for the Spurs as they cruised to their season best sixth straight victory. Thompson was an animal in the quarter, scoring eight points and grabbing seven rebounds.

However, it will be a quick turnaround for the 905 as they begin 2018 with a home game on Jan. 2 against the Lakeland Magic. In their last meeting, Lakeland dominated, winning 114-96.

“We keep doing what we’re doing,” Brown said. “Nothing different needs to be done; just come out with the right mindset on offense and defense.”

Thompson was traded to the 905 from the Magic, whom he didn’t play for this season before that. He says that the team had to be ready on Tuesday night.

“Everybody’s got to stay locked in and focused,” Thompson said.

Written by Kajan Thirukanikasalam

Edited by Drew Ebanks

Photos by Calvin Chevannes (CThaArt)

Red hot 905 Blow the Bulls Away, 123-104

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On a day where the matchup against the Windy City Bulls was marked Superhero Game, the Raptors 905 sure did bring out their capes in what was an offensive masterpiece.

Eight players scored in double figures for the Raptors 905 as they used a balanced effort to blow out the Bulls, 123-104, at the Hershey Centre. The 123 points marked a season high from the 905, along with their 33 assists as a team.

“It’s a fun way to play. I’m a little disappointed in Kaza (Keane) and AB (Aaron Best),” head coach Jerry Stackhouse said jokingly, referring to Best and Keane finishing with eight points each. “If they’d (each) made a layup, then we got ten guys in double figures.”

“It was probably one of them (best offensive games), for sure. It was well-balanced,” Kennedy Meeks said. “Our team did a great job of being aggressive the entire game and sharing the ball. Our chemistry is increasing every time.”

It is the fifth straight win for the 905, who now move to 10-10 on the season. A putback layup from Caboclo gave the 905 a 9-8 lead early in the first quarter and the team never relinquished it. Windy City, meanwhile, falls to 8-11.

Windsor native, Mychal Mulder

Bruno Caboclo and Malcolm Miller led the 905 with 15 points each. Miller’s scoring was part of a 905 bench that outscored the Bulls’ bench, 62-26. The Raptors used a 43 point third quarter to turn what was a close game into a laugher.

“Our guys were locked in. They moved the ball,” Stackhouse said. “We probably played one of the best quarters that you’ll see in the G-League.”

Davion Berry had 14 off the bench while Kennedy Meeks had 13 points and eight rebounds. Fuquan Edwin and Alfonzo McKinnie each had 11.

Shevon Thompson had 10 points and led all players with nine rebounds off the bench while Lorenzo Brown finished with a double-double, scoring 14 points and dishing out a game high 10 assists. The point guards (Brown and Kaza Keane) combined for 17 assists. Keane also committed a game high three steals.

The 905 shot a scorching 51.1 per cent from the field and 39.4 per cent from behind the arc. They also outrebounded Windy City, 51-26.

“We’re not going to shoot it (the ball) well every night but when it’s moving like that, it gives us a better chance to shoot it at a better clip than we have been,” Stackhouse said.

Kaza Keane

The Bulls’ Antonio Blakeney led all scorers with 27 points but on 22 shots. Mychal Mulder, a Canadian native, from Windsor, Ont., made his return home and finished with 14 points, including a couple of massive dunks.

Best hit a pair of triples to open up the spacing and Caboclo had six points on the inside as the 905 led 26-19 after one, despite Blakeney scoring eight in the quarter.

Blakeney heated up in the second quarter, making five of six shots with 11 points, but seven points from Berry and Meeks kept the 905 lead at seven (55-48) heading into intermission

The third quarter was perhaps the best offensive quarter for the 905 this season as they shot a scorching 77.7 per cent (14-18) from the field, 75 per cent (6-8) from downtown and 90 per cent (9-10) from the line. Caboclo and McKinnie both came alive in the quarter, each scoring nine. The 905 closed out the quarter on a 12-2 run as they led 98-73.

Thompson scored six straight points early in the fourth and both teams then emptied out their benches, with the game out of reach.

Overall, 12 of the 13 players that were on the floor for the 905 scored. The Raptors’ G-League team close out 2017 Sunday at 2:00pm against the Austin Spurs.

Written by Kajan Thiruthanikasalam

Edited by Drew Ebanks

Photos by Calvin Chevannes (CThaArt)

Raptors 905 down the Mad Ants 98-94 for their third straight victory

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After reeling off two consecutive victories and winning three of its last four contests, Raptors 905 stayed on brand Saturday afternoon, avoiding a near comeback and defeating Fort Wayne Mad Ants 98-94 at Hershey Centre.

Alfonzo McKinnie (Assignment) led the charge with a game-high 26 points (4-9 3PT) and eight rebounds for the 905 (7-10). Lorenzo Brown added 17 points and 11 assists in just under 35 minutes, while recently acquired Fuquan Edwin chipped in with 15, all of which came beyond the arc (5-7 3PT).

For the Mad Ants (11-8), Stephan Hicks recorded a team-high 19 points, Walter Lemon Jr. added 16, and former 905er Jarrod Uthoff had an impressive showing, finishing with 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

The 905 averted a near come-from-behind victory by a noticeably desperate Mad Ants club, ultimately coughing up a 17-point lead in the third quarter and conceding 28 points off of 27 turnovers by the end of it.

The home team pounced on Fort Wayne immediately out of the gate in the first, igniting an 8-0 as McKinnie and Kennedy Meeks took turns trading baskets and making things difficult for defenders. But the Mad Ants countered with a run of their own led by Uthoff and Hicks, both of whom helped shave the deficit to three after one, 24-21.

The turning point of the game came midway through the second quarter. A lineup featuring Kaza Keane, McKinnie, Meeks, Davion Berry and Bruno Caboclo helped kick start one of the better defensive stretches played by the 905 all season.

Keane and Berry kept the perimeter busy with stifling defensive pressure, while Meeks and Coboclo hounded the Mad Ants bigs around the painted area frustrating the Mat Ants bigs.

The five-prong lineup held the visitors to 32.1 per cent shooting from the floor at one point and forced multiple turnovers in the process.

After leading 47-37 at the break, the 905 were able to hold strong for the better part of the quarter, expanding the lead to 17 (65-48) momentarily and looking like they would run away with the game, but Fort Wayne had other plans.

Hicks, Lemon Jr., and Tra-Deon Hollins combined for 18 points in the frame, helping thrust the Mad Ants within striking distance by the end of the quarter, 72-64, and forcing Stackhouse to play his key guys a little bit longer than he would have liked to.

The fourth quarter seemed to align fittingly with the back-and-forth theme consumed by the first three periods. The 905 came out firing on all cylinders and extended the lead back up to 14, but the Mad Ants refused to go away, countering with a run of their own and eventually knotting things up at 92 with just over a minute to spare.

It would be the Canadian-born Aaron Best who would come away with the game-changing play of the game. The combo guard sliced inside for a difficult right-handed layup over the outstretched arms of the Mad Ants bigs, giving the 905 a two-point advantage with little time to go.

Fort Wayne had one last chance to respond on the other end, but Uthoff would come up short on a straightaway 15-footer, leading to a pair of free throws for Brown and the victory for the home team.

The 905 will take its three-game winning streak into the break and will not play again until Wednesday, Dec. 27 when they visit the Delaware 87ers.

Notes: Sloppy play has been the prevailing theme for the Head Coach Jerry Stackhouse’s club this season. Both teams combined for an eye-rinsing 52 turnovers and together give up 57 points off those miscues.

Written by Jas Grewal

Edited by Drew Ebanks

Photo by Cam Bartlett 

Olympic & World Championship Medalist Andre De Grasse hosts basketball tournament

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31 Local Teams to Face-Off at the Markham Pan Am Centre December 27th-29th, 2017

De Grasse Q&A, Meet and Greet and Media Availability on December 28th, 2017

MARKHAM, ON (December 14, 2017) – Canadian sprint sensation Andre De Grasse, who made the transition from the courts to the track, announces inaugural Andre De Grasse Holiday Classic basketball tournament, tipping-off at the Markham Pan Am Centre December 27th-29th.

“I grew up playing basketball in Markham and those roots are really important to me,” said De Grasse. “Hosting a holiday basketball tournament is way to help showcase some of the amazing young talent being produced in the GTA while giving back to my hometown.”

Andre was raised in Markham, Ontario and played a variety of team sports including soccer, baseball and basketball before taking up track in his final year at Milliken Mills High School.

“Markham is incredibly proud of the many accomplishments of Andre De Grasse, both on the track and in the classroom,” said City of Markham Mayor, Frank Scarpitti. “Andre has represented our community proudly around the world, establishing himself as one of track and field’s most prolific stars while being a positive role model for all that look up to him. We are thrilled that he continues to give back to his local community by hosting this tournament in Markham.”

The tournament will see 31 teams face-off at the grade 6, 7, 8, junior, senior and prep levels. Thornlea Prep will headline the Prep division, led by coach Chris Skinner, who coached Andre in high school.

“It’s great that Andre is coming back to the community and putting on a basketball event,” said coach Skinner. “Basketball was his first love – we used to call him the next Iverson!”

The tournament is open to the public, doors opening daily at 8:45 a.m. Entry is $10.00 per person per day with net proceeds supporting KidSport. KidSport is a national not-for-profit organization that provides financial assistance for registration fees and equipment to kids aged 18 and under.

Andre De Grasse Holiday Classic

Wednesday, December 27th

8:45 a.m. Doors Open

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Tournament Games

Thursday, December 28th

8:45 a.m. Doors Open

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Tournament Games

1:30 – 2:00 p.m. Q&A with Andre De Grasse

2:00 – 2:30 p.m. Meet & Greet with Andre De Grasse

2:30 – 3:15 p.m. Media Availability

Friday, December 29th

8:45 a.m. Doors Open

9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Tournament Games

**Full team listing and schedule to be released prior to tournament.

The Andre De Grasse Holiday Classic is presented by Pizza Pizza with support from Puma and Gatorade.

“Pizza Pizza has been one of Andre’s biggest fans. This tournament is yet another great fit for our partnership since we love being involved at the grassroots level,” said Pat Finelli, Chief Marketing Officer, Pizza Pizza. “We look forward to celebrating the game of basketball with Andre and all of Markham at the Holiday Classic.”

For media requests and tournament access, please contact Zachary Fox-Tapper at zach@envisionse.com or 647-230-6037.

Courtesy of the Andre De Grasse Holiday Classic

Drew Ebanks

 

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