Ryerson Rams Repeat as RUNIT Champions, Jahmal Jones Earns MVP Honours
TORONTO,ON–A McMaster vs Ryerson championship final is what we expected at the RUNIT and it was exactly what we received. In a game of runs, the Rams managed to sustain their lead en route to a 71-66 victory, defending their tournament championship.
Ryerson opened the game shooting the ball well and defending, holding McMaster to only 10 points in the first quarter, which ultimately looked to be the difference. McMaster was neck and neck the rest of the way, however every time MAC inched closer, tournament MVP Jahmal Jones was there creating a big play, either for himself or teammates.
Jones finished with a game-high 19 points to go along with four rebounds, six assists and three steals.
“We always get up for games against teams like MAC , Ottawa, Carleton because Ryerson hasn’t had a good history against those teams. We had film session and prepared well for this game,” Jones told NPH.
The Rams are tasting victory often as of late, with a perfect season record to date (8-0) and going 3-0 during this tournament. Jones understands the importance of making sure the team is ready to play at all times.
“We have to stay focused and hold each other accountable…me, Bjorn and Jordan have to make sure guys are ready because we went to nationals last year, and we know what it takes but I don’t think everyone knows…so we have to work hard every day.”
In this game, there were several contributors that stepped up including 6’9 Nem Stankovic who impressed on the interior displaying great skill and patience. Stankovic registered 13 points and seven rebounds on 6 of 7 from the field.
Freshman Juwan Grannum had himself a strong game posting 12 points and six rebounds including some key three point shots to keep the distance from McMaster. Jordon Gauthier also added 12 and 6.
For McMaster, it was Scott Laws that lead the way with 18 points and seven rebounds, earning himself a tournament all-star. Nathan Pelech was efficient from deep, registering 11 points, nine rebounds and three assists.
Adam Presutti, former CIS rookie of the year, is working his way back from injury and played limited minutes (18). Presutti ended with five points and three assists for McMaster; the Marauders needed him in this one, as turnovers costed them especially late in the game.
On the flip side, Ryerson shares a similar dilemma with only one true point guard on the roster, that being Jahmal Jones.
“We do it by committee, we trust each other and we have enough guards on the floor to handle the ball,” explained Jones on sharing PG duties.
Jones looked like the best player on the floor between either team and continues to prove why he is one of, if not, the top point guard in the nation. The combination of his lightning ball speed with ability to create for himself and others separates himself on the floor, and it was a treat to watch.
The road for the Rams will get tougher as they open against Queens, Ottawa and Carleton in the new year. The McMaster Marauders, who are 3-4 on the season will look to earn respect in the second half and maximize the team’s potential, especially with Presutti back in the line up.
Centennial – Jameel Williamson
UPEI – Jermaine Duke
China U19 – Zhao Jiwei
Humber – Brett Neumann
McGill – Vincent Dufort
Guelph – Zach Angus
McMaster – Scott Laws
Ryerson – Aaron Best
Tournament MVP – Jahmal Jones (Ryerson)