Henry Tan leads Ontario, Dismantle Saskatchewan
TORONTO,ON–The only time Ontario trailed in this game was early on, when Alex Unruh knocked down a shot from long range for Saskatchewan. The hosts came out with their typical high pace brand of basketball, and the story of the tournament continued to play out as Ontario was too skilled and too deep for the Saskatchewan contingent. The final score was 95-46, as Ontario crushed another helpless opponent.
After getting in some foul trouble early in last nights game against Alberta, the starting guard duo of Kaza Keane and Duane Notice were much more relaxed coming into this game. They are nearly unstoppable in the fast break against the competition at this event, and they are starting to exploit other teams weaknesses. When Coach Chris Cheng directs his team into the full court press…game over!
However, whenthe starters needed a break, Henry Tan was ready to jump into action, and jump in he did. From acrobatic finishes on the break to no look passes to a streaking teammate, Tan ensured that Saskatchewan was unable to get back into the game. Tan led the way for Ontario in the scoring column, registering a game-high 19 points.
Marko Pirovic, was once again outstanding for Ontario, posting 16 points and four rebounds.
Superfreak McIyle McIntosh ended the first quarter with a Hakim Warrick type block in the corner as Saskatchewan went for a buzzer beater. Ontario led by twelve after the first ten minutes, and they never looked back.
Ontario had the game on cruise control from early in the first quarter, and they took a 51-25 lead into the break. The second half was more of the same, as the relentless attack continued from all over the court. Fast break, long range and set pieces were all run to perfection as Ontario continued to solidify their position as tournament favourites.
Saskatchewan was overmatched in all facets of the game, but they continued to play determined ball until the last whistle. It has been something to see in the blowout victories thus far by Team Ontario, the opponents have not let up until the final buzzer has sounded. They play hard and grind out every possession, despite being vastly outclassed in both size and skill.
It appears unlikely that the U17 Ontario squad will face a serious test this tournament, but if a team is able to get them into early foul trouble, as well as limit their transition points, we may see an upset. The host team has rarely been forced to set up in half court sets throughout a game, and when they did early in yesterdays game against Alberta, they were unable to knock down their shots.
Saskatchewan was led by Alex Unruh, registering 10 points, four rebounds and two assists.
Henry Tan: 19 points, 3 assists, 4 steals
Marko Pirovic: 16 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals
Alex Unruh: 10 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists