Eyes focused on Newman’s Hebert at Father Kennedy Memorial

Whether he’s playing darts, baseball or basketball, Tyrell Hebert of Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School displays an impressive ability to hit the target.

On Saturday (Feb. 1), for example, the 6-foot-5 centre found the range to score a team-high 14 points during Newman’s 51-43 loss to the St. Benedict Saints of Cambridge at the Father Kennedy Memorial All-Catholic junior boys’ high school basketball tournament.

Tyrell Hebert of Cardinal Newman Cardinals scores during recent Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association league action against Cathedral. (Photo: Gerry Graham/HWCDSB)

That 37th-annual event features 16 teams and continues on Sunday with playoff rounds leading to the championship at 3 p.m. at Hamilton’s St. Thomas More gym.

Cardinals’ coach Dave Rimac says Hebert has a world of potential as a basketball player.

“I think we can ride this guy through to the championship,” Rimac said of Hebert and the Cardinals, who are currently first in the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association junior standings. “He’ll be a critical part. Other teams game plan around him now. He’s got them worried. He can shoot from the perimeter, he can drive and he can play inside. He’s got the whole package.

“Tyrell is getting better every game. He’s becoming a team player like we want.”

Hebert shines in other sports, too. As a competitive member in the Hamilton Youth Darts Association, Hebert has captured zone championships in the singles and doubles categories, finishing among the top eight in Ontario. He’s had a 180 – triple 20, triple 20, triple 20 – and his high takeout is 150 (out of a possible 170).

On the baseball diamond, Hebert is a lanky left-handed pitcher for the Ontario Blue Jays 16-and-under travelling elite squad. He helped the Cardinals advance to last year’s HWCAA high school baseball final both as a pitcher and a first baseman.

“In baseball,” Hebert said, “with my hand-eye co-ordination throwing the ball to the glove, it sort of gives me an advantage with darts.”

Hebert played two years of rep basketball but decided to devote more time to baseball beginning two years ago. “It was time for me to make a decision between basketball and baseball. I chose baseball,” he said. “I use basketball to keep up my stamina as an athlete.”

Hebert trains three days a week, three hours a day during the winter in Mississauga with the Ontario Blue Jays.

Newman won its opener, 54-36, against Milton’s Bishop Reding Royals. Against St. Benedict, however, the Saints went on a 10-0 run in the third quarter to extend their 21-20 halftime lead.

“Just a few mental letdowns on defence cost us dearly,” Rimac said. “They seemed to capitalize on defensive mistakes. It put us in a hole and we couldn’t get out.”

Zubair Seyed, Justin Malnerich and Alex Douglas paced the Saints attack with 15, 14 and 11 points, respectively.

Championship semifinals at More have St. Benedict facing Richmond Hill Jean Vanier (10 a.m.) and Oakville Holy Trinity against the No. 1 seeds from Toronto St. Michael’s (11:30 a.m.).

Consolation semifinals at Bishop Ryan match Reding against Burlington Notre Dame (9 a.m.) and Kitchener Resurrection against Cathedral (10:30 a.m.).

Saturday’s Father Kennedy results

Newman 54 (Maliek Gordon 22) Milton Bishop Reding 36 (Dami Abdul 12)

Cambridge St. Benedict 44 (Zubair Seyed 18) Bishop Ryan 29 (Michael Bonomo 10)

Welland Notre Dame 53 (Mitch Orosz 19) St. Jean de Brebeuf 33 (David Lacharity 11)

Jean Vanier 54 (Kascius Small-Martin 26) Burlington Notre Dame 33 (Mike Marguglio 11)

Holy Trinity 54 (Griffin Dubbeld, Tomas Tabak 10) Brantford St. John’s 15 (Alex Rewutzsky 6)

St. Thomas More 55 (Moe Harb 16) Kitchener Resurrection 53 (Ali Rashid 14)

Burlington Assumption 53 (Marcus Upshaw 11) Cathedral 49 (Bardhi Popaj 17)

Toronto St. Mike’s 85 (Marcus Carr 24) Bishop Tonnos 35 (Blake Anderson 11)

Burlington Notre Dame 79 (Matt Monteiro 22) Brebeuf 76 (Anthony Bradshaw, Terrance Lennox 16)

Jean Vanier 50 (Kascius Small-Martin 21) Welland Notre Dame 42 (Mitch Orosz 14)

Bishop Ryan 70 (Matthew McDonald 27) Bishop Reding 51 (Jalen Warren 22)

Resurrection 54 (Ali Rashid 12) St. John’s 35 (Michael DuBois 20)

Cathedral 64 (Bardhi Popaj 14) Bishop Tonnos 45 (Blake Anderson 23)

Holy Trinity 60 (Elijah Lostracco 21) St. Thomas More 42 (Ossie Proctor 9)

St. Mike’s 78 (Jahmal Abbey-Wright 26) Burlington Assumption 44 (Joaquin DaSilva 10)