OBA U16 Championship Sunday: Brampton Warriors on Top of the Food Chain
MISSISSAUGA, ON- Following an exciting weekend of preliminary action, the final day of the U16 Ontario Basketball Association championships surely lived up to expectations.
Bronze Medal Game- YAAACE vs Ajax Lions
The afternoon tipped off with two of the top teams in Ontario going head to head in an intriguing matchup that kept the crowd on their feet the entire game. After a see-saw battle that had fans biting their nails, it was the Ajax Lions who prevailed late with a 67-64 victory.
YAAACE was able to get out to an early lead by pushing the pace and breaking the Lions zone defense. Despite the size difference, YAAACE showed true grit by out hustling a more physical Lions team, ultimately picking up a twelve point lead going into half.
Unfortunately, the lead didn’t last long as the Lions came out in the second half firing on all cylinders. Ajax began to implement a full court press suffocating YAAACE’s backcourt, causing immense pressure and turnovers. Ultimately, Ajax was able to hit their free throws down the stretch to eventually seal the victory.
Following the win, NPH was able to catch a few words from Coach Phillips of Ajax, “We were down twelve points at half so we decided to start focusing more on the defensive end giving us the opportunity for more fast breaks and easy baskets.”
“After the game with Scarborough we talked about having pride and that was the biggest thing, we had to take it personal,” he added.
Gold Medal Game- Brampton Warriors vs Scarborough Blues
Finally the moment had arrived… Ontario’s finest took center court in an attempt to gain provincial supremacy. In a rematch of last year’s OBA finals, both teams knew this would be a hard fought battle. After a back and fourth affair, it was the Brampton Warriors who came out on top 67-60.
The Scarborough Blues began with a fast start with great ball movement all while being aggressive on the defensive end. Raynold Kasongo continued to let his presence be known by dominating the glass on both the offensive and defensive end, but it was his early foul trouble that really hurt the Blues.
With Kasongo sitting out, Brampton’s Jaylan Morgan stepped up huge with his effective shot selection and play making abilities.
The Warriors went into the locker room at half with a four point lead and never looked back. Coach Mark Ennis’ squad withstood Scarborough’s last surge in the final few minutes to close out the game due to a strong rebounding effort and eventually run out the clock.
An emotional Mark Ennis after the win, “It feels very good, it’s been two years now that we’ve lost to the same team, we were disappointed last year, but this year we felt very confident.”
“We had to stay composed and get our guys to believe. We have to stay together as a family and stay together as a team” he emphasized.
With the U16’s coming to an end, stay tuned for upcoming U17/19 NPH OBA coverage May 27-29.