Our Division 1 Men’s Basketball Cheetahs competed at the annual Sun Youth Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament on the weekend. Vanier had the misfortune on drawing the toughest team in their very first game, from Thetford Gold Academy, who went on to win the entire tournament. But the Cheetahs gamely went on to win the following three games including a victory over Champlain Lennoxville in the Consolation Final.
Here is Head Coach Andy Hertzog’s full tournament report:
Our men’s Division 1 team took part in the annual Sun Youth Holiday Classic tournament this weekend. There was 1 wrinkle – the games were not held at Sun Youth for the first time ever, due to some issues with the gym. So, the games were at Concordia University and Emile Legault high school in Saint Laurent.
Our first game was a tough contest, against the defending champions from Thetford Gold Academy (who ended up winning the tournament final this afternoon by around 30 points). We got off to a very poor start, trailing 16-5 to start the game, and 26-17 after the first quarter. We still trailed 43-33 at halftime. We came back after halftime and cut the deficit to 3 on a couple of occasions, and we were down 60-54 going into the final period. We came to within 65-64, but then our opponents went on an 8-0 run to take command of the game once again. We had to foul and ended up losing 81-70 in what was a tough, hard-fought contest. Although we shot poorly, we really lost the game on the boards, where our opponents were much more aggressive. Our leading scorers were Steeve Joseph with 13 points and Josh Koulamallah with 11.
Our next game was against Ottawa Next Level. This game was never a contest. We took control from the outset and won 94-63. We had led by 20 at the half and by 40 after 3 quarters. We actually had 6 players score in double figures, led by Pier-Olivier Racine with 17 points. Steeve Joseph, Nginyu Ngala and JF Daho each had 11 points and Shevon Noel and Karim Mané added 10 each.
On Sunday morning we had an early 8:00 AM game against Bridgton Prep from Maine. We got off to another quick start and led 42-29 at the half, before winning 91-64. We had 5 guys score in double figures this time, led by Josh Koulamallah with 16 points. Khalifa Koulamallah had 14 points, Benji Bercovitch had 13 points and Karim Mané had 11.
Just a few hours later we were playing in the Consolation final against Champlain Lennoxville. We were very sluggish to start the game, and our opponents came out on fire from the 3-point line, and we trailed 20-17 after the first quarter. We took a 5-point lead early in the 2nd quarter, but Lennoxville rallied to retake the lead by 4. We then went on a run and led 41-37 at the half. After halftime it was all Cheetahs. We led 64-41 after 3 quarters and finally won 88-53. JF Daho was our leading scorer with 14 points, and he was named to the tournament all-start team. Nginyu Ngala, Josh Koulamallah and Quarry Whyne each added 11 points.
Our men’s Division 1 team leaves on Wednesday for a tournament in Springfield, Massachusetts, where we will play 3 good prep teams.
I would like to remind you that we will be having open gym scrimmages at Vanier December 28 & 29 at 6:00 PM. You are all welcome to come play, or just to drop by to say hello.
Let me wish all of you. and those close to you, a very happy holiday and a wonderful New Year.
THIS JUST IN:
We were very pleased to announce that our Men’s Div 1 Basketball Cheetahs have added 2 top recruits to their 2018-2019 roster: Joshua Mein and Richard Kwahkwah. Both players have officially signed a letter of intent with the Cheetahs! Welcome to the Cheetah Family.