In a battle between Toronto and Montreal, Ontario and Quebec, Royal Crown Academy took home the National Championship and Platinum Circuit title on Thursday, March 10th with a 73-63 win over Dynastie Basketball on Royal Crown’s home court in Scarborough, Ontario. The win caps off an incredible circuit session for the program, walking off the floor as well-deserved national champions.
It was a quick start to the finals for Royal Crown Academy who got out to a 21-12 lead after the first quarter. Dynastie are typically known for their outstanding defence, but it was the Royal Crown defence that seemed to have the upper hand early on. The second quarter was an offensive stalemate from both ends as the defensive effort was increased, with Royal Crown holding on to a 37-27 advantage at the break. Justus Haseley, who took on a bigger role with starting point guard Jahari Williamson out with an ankle injury sustained in the semifinal, was the biggest difference maker for Royal Crown in the first half, scoring 12 and keeping his squad on the front foot.
The third quarter was more of the same as Dynastie were unable to cut into the host team’s lead, as versatile wing Mambourou Mara began to take over. Mara was unstoppable, doing work on both ends of the floor and helping Royal Crown to a 52-41 lead heading into the fourth.
Already leading for the entirety of the game, Royal Crown just had to hang on in the final frame and they were able to do just that. Dynastie managed to make a game of it as Galvin Luketa hit a few big threes, but the lead was solidified late as Royal Crown emerged champions by a 73-63 score line.
Royal Crown’s Mara was named the Finals Most Outstanding Player (MOP) following a 17-point performance (including four threes), 14 of which came in the second half. Mara was a calming presence for the team and his clutch shooting late made him the undeniable player of the game.
“When I was in Guinea, my daily routine was taking 500 shots a day. I did that every week. I’m not surprised that I made some shots. I work on it”, said Mara after the game.
National Championship MVP #9 Mambourou Mara (Photo Reel Motion Imaging)
Haseley had a great performance as well with 17, making a big impact on both ends of the floor. Michael Evbagharu continued his good form scoring 14, while Koat Thomas chipped in with a crucial 8.
Anthony Maxwell led the way for Dynastie Basketball in the loss, capping off an impressive campaign with 17 points. Galvin Luketa was important for Dynastie in the second half, scoring 14 and giving the team a spark when they needed it most. Dynastie had two other players score in double figures as Mathieu Nader-Kalombo and Loic Affoumon finished with 10 points each.
After an impressive 8-0 circuit season, Royal Crown became the Platinum Circuit National Champions after defeating Project Excellence in the quarterfinals, Burloak Prep Academy in the semis and then a high-flying Dynastie Basketball side in the finals on their home floor.
The title game wraps up a Platinum Circuit filled with exciting, entertaining basketball that was an excellent display of high-level Canadian prep hoops.
The Platinum Circuit, which was delayed for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic has big plans for next season, including more sessions across Canada as well as in the US as interest grows for the sport in the country.
National Championship Finalists Dynastie Basketball (Reel Motion Imaging)
The games being streamed on Baller TV (through Gametime Sports Media), one of the biggest amateur sports streaming platforms in America, and powered on the social media and content side by On Point Basketball, will ensure that the Platinum Circuit, as well as the affiliated National Junior Circuit and National Senior Circuit will be the top destination for high level prep school basketball programs and players looking for maximum competition and exposure throughout North America. The goal of The Platinum Circuit is to be the top prep basketball circuit in North America, and after a successful inaugural season, things are certainly looking bright and upward towards that goal!
Special thanks to the administration at Royal Crown Academy for hosting pool games over the three days as well as the quarterfinals, TPC On Point All-Star Showcase and the National Championship Game.
See you all next fall for season two of The Platinum Circuit!