Written by Graeme Wallace
OVO Championship OVO vs. Bounce
If you were a basketball fan in Toronto, Ryerson’s Kerr Hall was the place to be on Friday August 1st, 2014!
This much anticipated championship game between the Bounce/OVO family got off to a quick start with a Noah Vonleh put back dunk that gave Bounce an early 4-0 lead. Brandon Jennings answered back with a three for OVO and an Amir Johnson dunk gave them a 7-6 advantage. Jordan Clarkson, who was extremely impressive all week, scored seven points in a row, first going coast to coast for a layup and then hit a trey of his own that put Bounce up 13-9. Morgan Lewis was on the business end of an alley oop that pulled OVO within four, 17-13. Then it was Tyler Ennis who replied with a three pointer for Bounce before a series of big dunks that got the standing “everywhere” room only crowd buzzing! First it was Vonleh followed by the high-flying Lewis again. Then Tristan Thompson finished off a fast break for OVO with a slam before another Vonleh rim rocker. The energy in the was building was electric as things got a little chippy between the two sides at the end of the first quarter which saw OVO leading 28-27.
The second quarter started and of course, the highlight reel plays continued. Ennis had a sick crossover dribble followed by a layup, then Thompson jammed home a putback dunk that put OVO back up 34-33. Newly acquired Toronto Raptors guard Lou Williams joined the festivities hitting a corner three that put OVO up 38-36. The younger Bounce squad then answered with a 7-0 run capped by Ennis’ “and one” floater. But the never not to be outdone Brandon Jennings put OVO back into the lead with scintillating back-to-back threes. Williams was back at it again as he hit a trifecta and a driving layup about a minute later, that had Raptors fans imagining him hitting the court at the A.C.C. this winter and going to work. Follow that up with Amir Johnson’s putback dunk which made it a 22-7 OVO run and gave them a 60-50 lead. But Vonleh showed off his range and versatility with a bank three(not sure he called it) and the larger than life Sim Bhullar was fouled on a dunk to cap off a 8-3 response for Bounce. OVO held a 63-58 advantage at the break. Jennings led OVO with 19 points while Jordan Clarkson had a team high 13 for CIA Bounce. Those in the audience were hoping the 2nd half would exceed a highly entertaining first half.
Tristan Thompson, who had 12 points in the first half, started the second on fire for OVO. He scored their first bucket of the frame on an alley-oop jam. Thompson then crushed a put back dunk before hitting a jumper to give OVO a 72-64 lead as the hometown boy was feelin’ the energy from the energy-filled crowd. Ennis, the prototypical pass-first point guard was doing his best to keep CIA Bounce close as he looked for his own offense by punching down an impressive put back slam of his own, as many in the crowd screamed out in amazement. Never one to let rookies or other players outshine him, Jennings or “Black Jesus” as announcers Akil Augustine and Vikta Paulo repeatedly called him, then answered with a four-point play before Williams hit threes on consecutive possessions to give OVO an 82-69 edge as the game was starting to get out of hand. Jennings hit two more three pointers, including another which resulted in an and- one opportunity to give OVO their largest lead of the game, 94-77. Jordan Clarkson almost brought the house down with a nasty crossover but was unable to finish the dunk. He did manage to convert a put back jam and a three point play to bring Bounce within 12 points, 99-87 at the conclusion of the third quarter.
OVO seemed determined not to let Bounce back into the game as Lewis, a star in the NBL Canada, finished a fast break with a thunderous slam. Bhullar responded with a put back dunk which for the trailing Bounce. Ennis jammed in his third put back of the game, pretty impressive athletic play by the Phoenix Suns point guard considering he was among the shorter players in the game and listed at 6’2”. Lewis kept the heat on as he drove through the lane and finished with a one handed reverse dunk which got a rousing ovation from the crowd. That would however be the last basket of the game as play was halted much to the disappointment of the crowd, due to condensation on the court.
OVO was victorious, final score 107-95.
Jennings scored a game high 31 points, Lou Williams had 26 points and Thompson totalled 22 points for OVO. Jordan Clarkson had a team-high 25 points, Ennis scored 18 and Iowa State alum Will Clyburn recorded 16 points for Bounce.
It was a fitting end to an exciting week of hoops with plenty of big dunks, three point swishes and jaw dropping dribbles. It was unfortunate about the premature end but the decision was obviously made with the players best interests in mind.
The 2nd annual OVO Bounce Tournament is in the books, with the team sponsored by Toronto rapper Drake winning the chip for the second time in as many years.
If you didn’t make it down, shake your head and start counting the days until next year’s competition!
Written by Graeme Wallace
Edited and posted by Drew Ebanks