UPlay edges Elijah Fisher’s Grassroots in U12 CNIT Final
Nausedas earned Player of the Game for his 17 point performance and a huge presence in the paint on both ends. Wrzeszcz also had 17 points in the win, draining four three-pointers.
Elijah Fisher did all he could to bring Grassroots back into the game, scoring a game high 21 points, but just came up short. Terry Ofori chipped in with 10 points using his endless motor to motivate his team.
UPlay cruised past Halton UPlay in the Semi-Finals in large part due to Wrzeszcz’s 25 point monster shooting performance. In the other Semi-Finals, Grassroots came from behind to beat Canada Elite on a game-winning tip in from Fisher.
UPlay had a dominating first half, but another Grassroots comeback made this contest very tight down the stretch.
The quick start from UPlay saw them grab an 8-2 lead with most of their early offence going through Nausedas. The big man used his physical body to own the paint doing all his work inside.
Nausedas scored all his points down low using grown man moves to shake his defender and on the defensive end, he had two blocks in the first half.
Grassroots couldn’t stop UPlay’s fast pace offence and saw themselves down big. They couldn’t find a way to break down the 2-3 zone and were forced to settle for tough shots.
Just as Grassroots were finding a way back and closed the gap to only two, Wrzeszcz continued showing his elite shooting ability. After making five three-pointers in the Semi-Finals, he heated up again and made back to back threes to push the lead back to eight.
Wrzeszcz knocked down four shots from the perimeter in the game.
Late on in the first half Fisher raised his game to a higher level. He got in the mindset that nobody could stop him on his way to the rim and Nausedas was caught on the wrong end of a Fisher highlight play.
Fisher used his athleticism to get to the basket and made a tough lay-up with Nausedas all over him. The shot fell plus the foul. Fisher flexed and gave Nausedas a stare down, one that the big man took notice of.
Soon after that play, Nausedas got his revenge. He came up with a big block on Fisher and gave him that same stare down with some trash talking to go along with it. Nausedas ran the floor and finished easily on the fast break.
Nausedas and Wrzeszcz combined for 20 points in the half and had UPlay up 36-23 at the half.
UPlay held strong on the defensive end in the second half, bending but not breaking.
A lot of whistles slowed down the pace and it also meant Jahsemer Olembe got into foul trouble. Eventually the 6’1 guard fouled out with six minutes remaining. The tide started to turn.
Grassroots battled back from a double digit deficit to cut the lead to 3 with just over two minutes remaining.
Terry Ofori played a huge part coming up with steals and willingness to attack and finish.
Grassroots were down 63-59 with four seconds left when Fisher made a clutch lay-up to give his team a chance but it was too little too late.
They couldn’t get a steal or foul on the inbound pass and UPlay were able to run out the clock. UPlay Canada were crowned champions of the U12 division at CNIT.