Too Big, Too Fast, Too Strong – U15 Ontario Clobbers British Columbia
TORONTO, ON – The thrashing of the U-15 B.C. boys by Ontario’s squad served as proof that size and athleticism are extremely crucial in basketball. Led by the strong play of big men Chris Egi and Brody Clark, the Ontario team cruised to a 72-41 win in their matchup Tuesday night at the U-15 National Championships.
The game was never close, as Team Ontario used their significant size advantage to absolutely smother the B.C. boys in the half court, and contest virtually every shot B.C. put up. On the offensive end, Ontario mixed strong post play with aggressive slashing from their guards, which eventually wore down B.C.
“It was a great team effort by us tonight,” Ontario coach Jeff Giovanatti told NPH. “We played outstanding defence for most of the game. Defence is our bread and butter, and I think we showed it tonight. We also had good execution on offence.”
Ontario jumped to a 20-9 lead after the first quarter, powered by Brody Clark’s strong play. Clark finished the game with 13 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 steals, earning Player of the Game honours. The 6’6 forward definitely showed that he is someone to keep your eye on in the near future. Guard Jalen Poyser, who ended up with 13 points in the game, had a strong first half, and helped his team take a commanding 32-16 lead into the halftime break.
Ontario continued to display an outstanding defensive effort in the second half, pulling away with a 54-24 lead after 3 quarters, and ending up with a 72-41 win. The stats spoke volumes about where the game was won. Ontario outscored B.C. in the paint 40-28, won the rebounding battle 44-24, and had a 6-1 edge in blocked shots.
6’7 Ontario forward Chris Egi had a major impact on the game, despite only recording five points and four rebounds. He had three blocks, and altered numerous other shots, setting the tone all night long for Ontario’s stifling defence. Guard Montaque Gill-Ceasar added 10.
B.C. displayed good attitude and effort throughout, and battled hard to the end. Grant Galbraith and Buster Truss both had 11 points each to lead their team in a losing effort. They showed flashes of good execution on the offensive end in terms of getting decent looks, but continually ran into a wall of long arms and high-flying shot blockers. They will look to bounce back with a strong effort in their next contest, while Ontario will look to build on their momentum.
“We need to continue to own the boards, get to the line and keep working hard on defence,” Ontario coach Giovanatti says. “We also have to look to improve our free throw shooting [Ontario shot 21/35 against B.C.].”
It will be interesting to see how the rest of the tournament goes for both teams, although Ontario demonstrated why they might be considered the favourites from here on out to win the championship.