By: Jaspreet Grewal
It was an entertaining matinee Saturday November 1st at the Powerade Centre in Brampton, On as the Orangeville Prep Bears were able to post a decisive 19-point win, 73-52, over the St. Marguerite d’Youville Panthers, using a dominant third quarter to blow the game open. Sharpshooter Jalen Poyser and 7’1” phenom and possible #1 overall 2016 NBA Draft pick, Thon Maker led all scorers with 21pts and 16pts respectively, while Christian Gould had an impressive team-high 12 points for the Panthers.
In a contest that looked to advertise some of the top prospects in Canada and North America –including Thon and Matur Maker (both of Sudanese/Australian descent via the U.S.A.), Jamal Murray and Jalen Poyser – fans got their money’s worth as all four players were in full form against an undersized Panthers club.
Aside from the initial game action, which saw a cerebral and unselfish Murray throw a double-clutch alley-oop pass to Matur Maker for a two handed throw-down off the opening tip, it was a rugged and sloppy first eight minutes of action for both clubs. Orangeville Prep nabbed an early 10-2 lead over the Panthers mid-first frame, but the Panthers switched course and began attacking the paint at will, subsequently granting them free throw chances and allowing them to cut into the deficit. Evidently, it was Gould and company who – despite giving up an immense amount of size in the front court – only saw themselves down seven, 19-12, at the end of the frame – a positive outcome after a difficult start early on.
Matur Maker(5) Dunk
The second quarter, a complete opposite of the first, proved to be an all out defensive fair. Not only did both teams struggle to create any semblance of an offense, but fouls were prevalent and the over all physicality of the game had noticeably increased; on an optimistic note, this allowed spectators to see who maintained obedience to their defensive duties, particularly when the offense wasn’t rolling. Thon Maker struggled early on as he was crowded and double-teamed – especially on dribble penetration – for much of the game. Credit goes to the Panther’s guards and forwards for pestering elder Maker all night and forcing him to put it on the floor where he isn’t overly comfortable. Murray was a pest for the Athletic Institute, seemingly pressing d’Youville’s guards all afternoon long and forcing a myriad of turnovers. Although his shot wasn’t falling, Murray continued his defensive excellence by providing energy and hustle when his team needed it most. But it was Thon Maker and Poyser who led the scoring charge for the Bears early on, ultimately giving their squad a surprisingly small two point edge, 30-28, at the end of the first half.
The third quarter – and essentially the entire second half – proved to be an uphill battle for the Panthers as Maker and company upped the intensity on both ends of the floor and seemingly gained momentum early on. A pair of back-to-back three point baskets by Poyser courtesy of his backcourt partner, Murray, stretched the lead to 13, 50-37. Although Gould did his best to counter Orangeville Prep’s momentum swing with a nice perimeter game and simply staying patient on the offensive end, the men in red proved too much for the Panthers. After forcing back to back turnovers and subsequently pushing the ball, Matur Maker was able to increase the lead to 17 with a pair of slam dunks, thus ending the third on a positive note while holding on to a sizeable 54-37 lead.
Jamal Murray(23) defending Keshon Montague(10)
The last and final eight minutes of action saw both clubs exchange baskets throughout much of the quarter. The Panthers made a mini run to cut into the deficit – with a pair of baskets inside by Jordan Lyons(finished with 8pts) who, surprisingly, didn’t register a point until the second half – but Orangeville Prep reverted back to what was working extremely well in the third quarter; ball movement and dribble penetration. In the end, their size advantage and sheer talent were the deciding factors in Orangeville Prep’s 73-52 win over the d’Youville Panthers.
There’s no doubt that both teams played with tenacious intensity throughout the game, and that’s all fans could have asked for.
DamiAnn Prehay 8pts
Norville Clayton 8pts
Jamal Murray 7pts
Matur Maker 9pts
Keshaun Saunders 6pts
Photos Courtesy Kamal Hylton