TOP GUN INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT DAY 1
Canada Topflight Academy West takes over in fourth quarter for narrow win against Team Thetford Red
CTA West scored 27 points in the fourth quarter for a comeback win against Team Thetford Red, 65-63. Peter Palmer was awarded Player of the Game for his high motor, consistent defensive effort, and basic but sound playmaking. He produced 11 points and three triples, with his only two-point basket coming from a putback layup.
Sharpshooter Ben Herbert had a team-high 15 points and four triples. Enrique Garcia had 11. The 6’8” Jacob Antchak was held to just eight points but was a strong defensive presence in the paint and controlled the boards against the smaller Thetford.
Thetford Red’s shifty guard Herman Kofi, had three treys and a game-high 21 points – 10 of which came in the final period. Malcolm Vasseaux, a slippery guard with fancy footwork in the post that helps him elude opposing big men, was Thetford’s only other double-digit scorer with 14 points.
Fort Erie International Academy handles Northstar Prep
FEIA defeated Northstar 92-78 in spite of Northstar guard Waris Njoya’s huge 20-point fourth quarter. The bulky 5’11 guard had a game-high 30 points in total while also acting as the team’s primary ball handler and facilitator.
Player of the Game was awarded to FEIA’s versatile 3-and-D wing Tobe Ezeokafor who put up 19 points and three triples. Nate Bureau had a team-high 22 points and five 3-pointers, often using flare screens on simple shallow cuts to find open space on the perimeter.
FEIA’s Nishaan Singh had 12 points while Bashir Ngala and Alphonse Muteba finished with 10 each.
Northstar’s Daniel Smith jump shot his way to 14 points while the hustling Zane Graham had 13 along with a number of offensive rebounds.
London Basketball Academy puts the clamps on Project Excellence
LBA cruised to a 78-57 victory over Project Excellence, mostly behind a disciplined defence that was always two steps ahead. The athletic Jalen Janes won Player of the Game, rewarding his strong two-way play that got him a team-high 19 points.
Teammate Chikosi Boardi was also excellent on both ends, scoring 17 with three treys. The adaptable and hardworking Max Arnott took a backseat to his teammates in the game, scoring just 13 points in a glue guy role.
Project Excellence was led by the smooth three-level scorer Benni Kazadi. The often double-teamed forward finished with a game-high 21 points.
Just five players scored for Project Excellence, and of the five, only Jahzi Brown cracked double digits with 12.
Orangeville Prep takes down host team Canada Topflight Academy CTA) to conclude Day 1 of the CTA Top Gun Invitational
After a slow start against Canada Topflight Academy, Orangeville Prep found their rhythm in the second half to defeat the home team 82-72. Coming up big in the clutch was Orangeville’s reserve shooting guard and Player of the Game Remil Tissington, who scored all 11 of his points and three treys in the fourth quarter. Orangeville only managed 11 points as a team in the first quarter but put up at least 20 points across the next three. They made just five threes as a team.
Orangeville’s trio of Matai Baptiste, Oliver Engen, and Kevin De Kovachich had 15 points each.
In contrast to Orangeville, CTA started the game with strong momentum, going into the halftime break with a 35-31 edge. 6 ‘7 ” forward Binael (Bin) Basil flew all over the court making jams, highlight blocks, and earning trips to the line. He also scored 10 of CTA’s 18 fourth quarter points, ending his night with a game-high 25 points.
CTA’s No. 23 Adriel Nyorha scored 12 points while primarily guarded by the opposing No. 23, the 6’8” Baptiste. The lengthy Sam Akot was the only other CTA player to score double digits with 10 while shouldering a significant load on defence.
TOP GUN INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT DAY 2
Northstar Prep kicks off Day 2 with a bounce back win against Team Thetford Red
Northstar’s top players came to play in the morning game against Thetford, stealing a 68-64 come-from-behind victory. Leading Northstar once again was starting point guard Waris Njoya, who played every minute of the contest and orchestrated the offence every possession in the halfcourt. His physical style proved too much for the longer but wiry Malcolm Vasseaux, one of Thetford’s top scorers. Vasseaux fouled out early in the fourth quarter and did not score in the second half.
A favourite target of Njoya’s was Northstar forward Mason Chartrand who had a game-high 18 points, using timely cuts and activity on the offensive glass to create easy buckets. Starting shooting guard Daniel Smith accounted for 12 points, also making six-of-eight free throws and playing hard nosed defence wire-to-wire. The 6 ‘8” Shadrak Lasu showcased his unique versatility from the 5 spot, the stretch big scoring 10 points, two 3-pointers, and protecting the rim against the faster Thetford squad.
Leading Thetford on offence were the Kofi brothers, Herman and Charles, who had 16 and 10 points respectively. Herman had a game-high four triples, demonstrating one of the cleanest jump shots of the tournament. However, more aggression was needed from the guard with the aforementioned Vasseaux in foul trouble and limited to just nine points.
This represents Thetford’s second loss in a row after leading by four at halftime. However, it should be noted that they were the youngest team in the tournament – the only team with two players in the class of 2026, one in the class of 2027, and just one player graduating this year.
Northstar Prep went home with a 1-1 record.
Project Excellence and Malachi McDevitt bust out of offensive slump to best Canada Topflight Academy
Project Excellence fended off CTA long enough for the 81-76 win. Senior guard Malachi McDevitt exploded for a tournament-high 32 points, punctuating the game by banging in three triples and completing an and–1 to ice the game. In addition to his shooting, McDevitt was a devastating downhill threat throughout the game. Although he isn’t a blur at top speed, he makes up for it with hops, touch around the rim, and a nose for the ball when he misses.
McDevitt’s partner in crime, the high-flying Benni Kazadi, had a whopping 28 points himself. Accompanying an array of dunks and blocks were a game-high four 3-pointers. Jahzi Brown chipped in 14.
CTA head coach Tony House opted for a different starting lineup than normal, of Beckham Beardsley, Jason Desjarlais, Aiden Geoffroy, Dave Hutton, and Thomas Lazarre – a four-man adjustment from their game against Orangeville (Desjarlais being the only constant). Regardless, they were once again led by the big man Bin Basil who closed out the game with 14 points in the fourth quarter. His game ended with 19 in total.
The marksman Beardsley, was the only other member of CTA in an offensive groove with 15 points, making two threes.
Project Excellence’s tournament ended with a 1-1 record.
Fort Erie clinches a finals berth at the CTA Top Gun Invitational after dominating Canada Topflight Academy West
FEIA convincingly defeated their opponent for the second time in two games, this time defeating CTA West 74-51. Winning Player of the Game was Waqo Tessema, who found his range early and used the extra floor space to set the table for his teammates for four quarters. He had a game-high 19 points and five treys.
Anchoring coach Steve Houston’s perfectly executed defence was the 6’8” Elijah Amas, who had just one point but held the physically imposing Jacob Antchak to just seven points on two made field goals. The swarming yet disciplined defence held CTA West to just six points in the first quarter, and 11 points in the third.
CTA West struggled mightily throughout the first three quarters, unable to get to the line for the entire first half, getting turned over, and missing shots they usually make. Although they committed 20 fouls to FEIA’s 21, they attempted just nine at the charity stripe while FEIA had 17 tries.
Behind-the-arc threat Ben Herbert couldn’t get things going in the game, scoring just two points in the first half and held to a team-high of 10 points in the game, which included just two threes. Teammate Ryan Braam had nine exclusively off of the three triples he made in the second quarter.
Orangeville Prep outduels London Basketball Academy, punching ticket to CTA Top Gun Invitational Finals
Although a close match in skill, Orangeville physically overwhelmed the smaller LBA squad to win 87-76. Awarded Player of the Game was Jahnai Dunkley, a bouncy small ball 5 who was a two-way force down the stretch and scored eight points in the game. He was a key piece of an impressive Orangeville defence that thwarted LBA’s five-out offence and seemingly contained every attempt at dribble penetration, forcing LBA to score from deep.
Aside from the first quarter where LBA scored just 12 points, the western Ontario team did an admirable job of taking what the defence gave them, sinking 12 3-pointers in the game. They were led by the aggressive PG Keran Mabiala who produced a game-high 18 points and made daring plays for his teammates throughout. Chikosi Boardi was right behind with 17 and five triples, though unable to find the success he’s accustomed to at the rim. Max Arnott was held to just nine points – all from behind the arc.
LBA’s tallest player, the 6’6” Alex Noel, chipped in eight points.
Like his twin brother, Jalik Dunkley is an above-the-rim player who capitalized on the size advantage, cruising to 17 points. The versatile Sean De Kovachich had 12, and the previous Player of the Game for Orangeville, Remil Tissington, had 11 points and three treys.
Team Thetford Red’s Malcolm Vasseaux excels against Canada Topflight Academy, finishing the tournament 1-2
With a final score of 70-64, Team Thetford Red got their first and only win of the weekend against CTA – who struggled going 0-3 in the tournament. The Quebec representatives were led by a reawakened Malcolm Vasseaux who caused problems for the CTA defence, while going for 30 points. Vasseaux dropped 14 of his team’s 20 points in the first quarter and made five of his seven free throws in the game. The slender and speedy guard has a knack for knifing his way through set defences and again showed off crafty footwork in the post to elude defenders.
Team Thetford Red’s Nolan Lucas, class of 2027 and the youngest player in the CTA Top Gun Invitational, had an impressive 15 points and three triples. Herman Kofi modestly contributed 11 points, rightly deferring to the hot hand of Vasseaux.
The top scorer for CTA was Jason Deslarjais with 15 despite coming off the bench for the first time in the weekend as coach Tony House used a third unique starting lineup. Deslarjais made five threes in the game.
Adriel Nyorha chipped in 12. Binael Basil finished with eight.
London Basketball Academy survive late rally by Canada Topflight Academy West for third place
LBA nearly fumbled a 13-point lead to CTA West in the fourth quarter, surviving by the skin of their teeth to win 62-60 and achieve third place at the CTA Top Gun Invitational. Both CTA West’s offence and defence elevated to an entirely new level in the fourth, outscoring LBA 25-14 in the quarter. Unable to convert a few good looks late in the game, it was a truly narrow loss.
Player of the Game went to Keran Mabiala who opted to play more as a facilitator, scoring just five points. He was also selected as one of the five All-Stars at the CTA Top Gun Invitational, averaging 8.3 points for the weekend.
Also showing up for LBA were the usual suspects: the athletic and talented foul baiter Jalen Janes with 12, the tough Chikosi Boardi with 16, and the floor spacer Max Arnott with 11 points.
Playing from behind the entire game and the bench unable to get anything going, CTA West coach Adam Huffman gave his starters a lot of burn. Ben Herbert scored a game-high 20 points going six-of-six from the line and making four threes. Big man Jacob Antchak had 16, also making an impressive fourth quarter desperation three as the shot clock expired. Enrique Garcia had 12.
LBA went 2-1 and CTA West went 1-2 in the tournament.
Orangeville Prep become inaugural CTA Top Gun Invitational champions with win over Fort Erie
Orangeville were crowned the inaugural CTA Top Gun Invitational tournament champions after handing FEIA their first loss of the weekend, winning 79-74. Player of the Game and CTA Top Gun MVP was given to the versatile and deadly 6’9” forward Matai Baptiste who scored 14. More than capable of knocking it down from distance, Baptiste also showed strength in the low post and was a key cog in dismantling FEIA’s tough defence. He averaged 11 points across three games.
Receiving an all-star nod was teammate Dawson Matsell, a 6’6” forward who can stroke it from outside and loves going downhill with his combination of brute force and finesse. He had 14 points and four triples. He averaged 10.3 points in the tournament.
Going off for FEIA was the mind-bending high leaper Bashir Ngala who scored 25 points and made countless plays for his teammates in the game. Able to bypass his primary defender stealthily, the young 6’3” PG was consistently able to get to the iron and made nine two-point field goals in the game – nearly 10 as he climbed the ladder for a devastating dunk above the 6’11” Ebenezer Ogoh, who was forced to fouled him. Ngala went to the line 10 times, sinking seven.
Also selected as all-stars were Waqo Tessema and Nate Bureau. Tessema had nine in the game and averaged 11 points in the invitational. Bureau had 11 with three triples and averaged 14.3 points.
Orangeville (Article thumbnail photo) was a perfect 3-0 in the tournament. FEIA went 2-1.
TOP GUN INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT TOURNAMENT AWARDS
Photos by Faz Visions