Halton Prep vs. East Prep
The first game of the day in the inaugural Platinum Circuit delivered a back-and-forth contest that ended with an 81-78 Halton Prep victory.
While the game was tight all game it was two big time stops came from Halton Prep late in the game that secured the victory and Player of the Game Jahsemar Olembe continued to showcase his athleticism on both ends of the floor, including two highlight reel slam dunks on his way to a 24-point performance.
Preston Gayle also had 18 points for Halton Prep, while Randall Browne had six made threes for East Prep, amassing 25 points in total.
Canada Topflight Academy (CTA) vs. Scarborough Prep
CTA and Scarborough Prep traded blows in the first half as CTA cruised to an 87-68 victory after a close first half. “We really focused on defence, we practiced that throughout the week after getting our asses kicked by grown men,” said Brayden O’Connor, who was named the first Player of the Game in the inaugural Platinum Circuit Early Bird Showcase, with 28 points.
While CTA’s pick and roll game driven by O’Connor, Joel Ongagna and Samuel Lufulabo kept them in the game early, it was a defensive adjustment at halftime that allowed CTA to keep in the game.
O’Connor credited CTA’s head coach Tony House for recognizing that the team wasn’t boxing out and defending at half and that allowed and his adjustment led to them effectively shut down the Scarborough Prep offence.
Despite a tough second half, Scarborough Prep had a whole team effort with Giancarlo Walton, Damion Pearce contributing nine points, and Devin Fikes adding 10.
Excel Prep vs. C.O.D.E Academy
Excel Prep took an early lead in their first match against C.O.D.E Academy and never looked back as they beat C.O.D.E soundly 94-74. Player of the Game Isaiah Campbell led the way for Excel with 17 points and Gabe Gutsmore added 15 points to the total as well.
C.O.D.E. was led by Joshua Lewis’ 13pts and DJ Burke who poured in 11pts.
Full Circle Basketball Academy vs. Oakville Prep
Oakville Prep picked up their first win of the weekend in one of the must watch games of the day with a 77-68 win over Full Circle Basketball Academy. Full Circle battled back from an early deficit to take a 39-38 lead into the second quarter but Oakville Prep, led by Player of the Game Kyree Thompson (19pts) was able to pull away in the fourth quarter.
Thompson credited the team’s ability to play together after the game.
Max Voorpool, arguably the best shooter in the country led Full Circle and the game with 29pts, including five threes. O’Shay Wright scored 16pts for the Durham-based Full Circle Academy.
Canada Topflight Academy vs. Halton Prep
Brayden O’Connor and Jahsemar Olembe went head-to-head in a battle of the session’s first two players of the game, ending with CTA coming away with the W.
Olembe went down with an injury early in the second quarter, and when he returned, he saw limited time on the floor before sitting the rest of the game. Halton’s offence couldn’t keep up with the shooting of CTA with their star player on the bench.
Kai Batten took home Player of the Game with 21 points and O’Connor followed up a stellar first game with another 28-point showing.
Preston Gayle took up the slack on offence for Halton Prep with Olembe out and scored 26 points. Owen Osabuohien added 16pts for Halton in a losing cause.
Project Excellence vs. Legacy Prep
What looked like it may be the lowest scoring game of the day after the first quarter ended up being a massive win for Project Excellence as they took a 98-54 win off Legacy Prep.
Player of the Game Chika Nwakwesi had a poster-worthy slam dunk among his 16 points and praised his team’s effort after the game for putting them in a position to pull away with the victory. “We started off the game really slow,” said Nwakwesi. “But at the end we really pushed and got a lot of buckets.”
Deshaun Blair of Legacy Prep scored 17 points in the loss.
Dynastie Sports Institute vs. Great Lakes Academy
Quebec’s Dynastie Sports Institute made their debut at The Platinum Circuit one to remember as they took an 87-51 victory off Great Lakes showcasing all facets of their attack and defensive presence.
Player of the Game Landry Lamine shot the lights out in the first quarter on his way to a 16-point performance. While Great Lakes struggled to match the physical presence of Dynastie, Great Lakes’ Logan Whitmell poured in 19 points to keep his team alive, including a big second half.
Scarborough Prep vs East Prep
Scarborough Prep rebounded from a first game loss in the session for a 101-87 win over East Prep. “Feels amazing (to get the win)” said Davion Pearce. “We let the first game slip, so we’re just trying to get back and find our identity.”
Pearce bounced back into form with a steady dose of assists from his teammates was named Player of the Game with 21 points. The guard broke down East Prep’s defence on the break using his athleticism to attack the basket at will. “Just happy we can get this in a good tournament against a good team,” said Pearce.
East Prep was led by Zander Wilson, who poured in a sensational 27pts, showing his versatility by scoring from all over the court.
Southwest Academy vs Vanguard Prep
With a 77-55 win over Southwest Academy, Vanguard Prep (formerly Vaughan Prep) is looking to put everyone in The Platinum Circuit on notice – Vaughan is back.
“I just came out and wanted to show everyone that Vaughan’s back baby!” said Nikola Rajacic, Player of the Game “We had a two year rest but now we’re back and ready to go.”
Vanguard Prep took the lead early in the first, and while Southwest Academy battled back into the game behind Brandon Bogart’s 14 points and Andre Rudy’s 10 points, they were never able to take the lead and Vanguard pulled away in the second half.
“We’re going to take this win and build on the momentum,” said Rajacic. “We’re building chemistry and once we get going fully, I think it’s going to be hard to stop us.”
Lincoln Prep vs. Burloak Prep Academy
Lincoln Prep held on in the tightly contested final game of the day, taking home a 63-60 win over Burloak Prep Academy.
“It was working all around as a team and finding your teammates,” said Joshua Omojafo of the win on Friday night. “Usually the defence likes to suck in when I drive, and I could depend on my team mates to hit shots.”
Omojafo took home the Player of the Game honours and had 16 points while JR Brutus Escalona had 14 points for Burloak in the losing effort.
Top five players of the day
Brayden O’Connor (CTA) – 28 points
O’Connor came into to the day as one of the most highly sought after prospects and proved why he should be at the top of everyone’s must watch list through the first two games of the circuit.
He was unstoppable with the ball in his hands in the opening game, not only getting buckets at will, but setting up his bigs with post possessions and finding them on the pick n’ roll as well – all while providing suffocating defence in the second half.
Jahsemar Olembe (2023) (Halton Prep) – 24 points
Olembe was another highly touted prospect that made his mark known in the first game of the day – starting with a thunderous slam dunk and ending with a defensive stop and bucket to give his team the win.
For a point guard, Olembe does it all.
Kyree Thompson (Oakville Prep) – 21 points
Thompson, a two-time provincial champ at Halifax Prep, dug deep for moves into his bag to propel Oakville Prep to their first victory of the day over a tough Full Circle squad full of shooters.
Nikola Rajacic (Vanguard Prep) – 21 points
Rajacic came in motivated to show the world that Vanguard wasn’t to be taken lightly – and did so in impressive fashion. With tough-nosed defence and impressive shot making, Rajacic’s goal of bringing Vanguard Prep back in a big way is well within reach.
Chicka Nwakwesi (Project Excellence) – 16 points
Where other plays found themselves on this list because of their offensive output, Nwakwesi is here because of his impact on both ends of the floor. Nwakwesi, who is filled to the brim with potential, owned the paint, and was a terror in transition in Project Excellence’s first win in The Platinum Circuit.
Max Voorpool (Full Circle Basketball Academy)– Can shoot from anywhere on the court, dropped 5 threes and 29 pts in a against Oakville Prep.
Randall Browne (East Prep)– Another lights out shooter, Brown scored 23 points in The Platinum Circuit opener, which included six threes against Halton Prep.