Vernon leads all rookies to take OUA’s West Division honour


McMaster Marauders’ Tyrell Vernon has made the Ontario University Athletics’ all-rookie team in the west division. He was the only Marauder to receive an all-star nod. The 19-year-old guard’s 280 points in 22 games with the Marauders led the team in scoring, averaging 13 points per game. The 6-1 graduate of St. Thomas More Knights, considered one of the country’s best high school basketball players, averaged 30 minutes per game.

In other, OUA selections, Brad Rootes (Niagara Falls) a member of the Brock Badgers (16-6), combined a strong offensive and defensive game, and for the second consecutive season was named the West Division’s Player of the Year and first team all-star alongside Greg Surmacz (Peterborough) of the Windsor Lancers (17-5).

Rootes finished the season sixth in OUA scoring averaging 18.7 points per game, while leading his team in assists (162), and on the defensive side accumulating 49 steals on the season. Joining Rootes at the top of the ranks, Surmacz is a phenomenal player at the top of the league, leading an experienced Lancer squad in a number of facets of the game. Finishing the season third in OUA scoring averaging 19.4 points per game, Surmacz amassed 181 rebounds on the season, 140 against the defensive board to lead the Lancers, while leading the OUA with a 56% field goal shooting percentage.

Brock’s Mike Kemp (Niagara Falls) has been a defensive force for the Badgers this season, and has been named the West Defensive Player of the Year following an exceptional campaign. Kemp has been a large contributor at the defensive end of the court for his team this season, and is usually matched up against the best players of the opposition. The six-foot-two forward finished the season with nine blocks, 89 rebounds, and 38 steals while finishing the season second in team scoring averaging 18.3 points per game on the offensive side of the court.

Hamilton native Nick Pankerichan, 22, was voted a first-team all-star playing for the University of Guelph Gryphons. The 6-3 guard led the Gryphons in scoring with 327 points in 21 games.

Matt Curtis, of Hamilton, made the second all-star team. The University of Western Ontario Mustangs’ guard scored 279 points in 21 games. Curtis, 18, was the OUA West Division’s rookie of the year in the 2004-05 season.

2007-08 OUA ALL-STARS AND MAJOR AWARD WINNERS

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Greg Surmacz, Windsor, Peterborough
Brad Rootes, Brock, Niagara Falls

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Mike Kemp, Brock, Niagara Falls

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Kale Harrison, Laurier, Stratford

KEN SHIELDS AWARD

Ryan Steer, Windsor, Windsor

COACH OF THE YEAR

Chris Oliver, Windsor

FIRST TEAM ALL-STARS

Nick Pankerichan, Guelph, Hamilton
Kiraan Posey, Lakehead, Baltimore, MD
Brad Rootes, Brock, Niagara Falls
Ryan Stee, Windsor, Windsor
Greg Surmacz, Windsor, Peterborough

SECOND TEAM ALL-STARS

Matt Curtis, Western, Hamilton
Kale Harrison, Laurier, Stratford
Mike Kemp, Brock, Niagara Falls
Duncan Milne, Guelph, Calgary
Brad Smith, Western, Churchill

ALL-ROOKIE TEAM

Kale Harrison, Laurier, Stratford
Cam McIntyre, Waterloo, Waterloo
Jonathan Moscatelli, Guelph, Toronto
Michael Petrella, Guelph, Brantford
Tyrell Vernon, McMaster, Hamilton