Veteran Guard Kevahn Taylor Leads Brebeuf to Win

Veteran Guard Kevahn Taylor Leads Brebeuf to 61-43 Win Over Newman
Posted on 01/11/2024

By Larry Moko
It was an encouraging start to the new year for the St. Jean de Brebeuf Braves.

The Brebeuf senior boys’ high school basketball team returned to action after the Christmas break with a 61-43 victory over the visiting St. John Henry Newman Cardinals on Tuesday.

That outcome dropped Newman to 5-2 in the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic standings and improved the Braves record to 3-5.
Other games saw the Cathedral Gaels edge the St. Thomas More Knights, 43-42, the Bishop Tonnos Titans top the St. Mary Crusaders, 66-42, and the Bishop Ryan Celtics defeat the ACMT Jaguars, 61-51.

“I would say this was the first game we felt we rebounded for 32 minutes,” Brebeuf coach Jae Dunphy said. “Rebounding has been an Achilles heel for us this year.

“We had a great practice yesterday and today we were focused.”

Brebeuf trailed 13-9 at the end of the first quarter but held a 32-21 advantage heading into the intermission.

The Braves were able to pull away in that second quarter thanks largely to the 17-point outburst by veteran guard Kevahn Taylor. For the game, he led all scorers with 25 points.

“Kevahn has got interest from universities for next year,” the Brebeuf coach said. “He’s coming into his own. He knows how to quarterback the team and settle us down into our sets. Then, when you give him a lane, he’s going to go there. It’s great to see him continue to develop.”

Other top point getters for Brebeuf were Omaree Francis with “an efficient” 13 points and Ryan Mpiana who tossed in eight.
Enoch Babatunde replied with 17 points for the defending-champion Cardinals.

“Our overall communication was better than what it has been,” Dunphy said. “We were calling the screens and switches pretty well today.”

The Brebeuf coach was also pleased with “finding a bigs rotation” at the back end.

“I think they all stepped up today,” he said. “We got blocked shots and great contests from Isaiah Patrois Holding. He’s our first big off the bench. He gives us a little bit of shot blocking and switch ability. And he’s a nice counter-punch to (starter) Alessio Di Gregorio’s brute size. Alessio is a great passer and a strong rebounder.”

While Brebeuf took part in a few games during the holiday – going 2-1 at Western University’s Purple and White tournament – the Cardinals were idle.

“For whatever reason, we lacked intensity and focus,” Newman coach Andrew Sergi said of his team’s first game back. “We weren’t crisp in what we were doing either on offence or defence.

“No excuses. Brebeuf was better than us. Top to bottom. Starting with coach. Coach Dunphy did a great job of having his guys ready to play and I don’t think I did a good job of having our guys ready coming off the break.”

Sergi said Newman was “playing at a very high level” before the almost three-week pause in the schedule.

“I was fine with us not playing over the break,” he said. “I thought we could get in some good practice time because we had been in a lot of tournaments before the break.”

Cathedral, at 8-0, remains in sole possession of first place. Tonnos is alone in second place (6-2). St. Thomas More has a mark of 4-4 followed by Bishop Ryan (3-4), St. Mary (2-6) and ACMT (0-8).

Photos by Richard Andoga

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