MISSISSAUGA, ON-Day two of the U16 Ontario Basketball Association (OBA) club championships gave spectators a full day’s worth of chippy, hard-nosed basketball, as all the participating clubs left everything on the floor. Defence and hustle seemed to be the common themes of the day as Ontario’s youngsters fought for a chance to be provincial champions. Here are some of the highlights from today.
OBA U16 Seeding
1. YAAACE (Youth Association for Academics Athletics and Character Education)
2. Ajax Lions
3. Brampton Warriors
4. Scarborough Blues Ferreira
5. Oakville Vytis
6. Toronto Triple Threat
7. Ottawa Guardsmen
8. Can Six Basketball
Scarborough gives top-ranked YAAACE the Blues
The crowd was excited to watch this #1 versus #4 seed matchup, as it pitted two teams with strong guard player in an intriguing battle against one another. If Scarborough was truly the 4th best team coming into this tournament, they certainly didn’t act like it today.
Powered by the sensational play of point guard Tevoun Jackson, Scarborough always had an answer for whatever YAAACE threw at them. YAAACE point guard Tyvon Hall was doing his best John Wall impression early on, constantly beating the Scarborough defence down the court for lay-up after lay-up in the early going. He scored his team’s first 12 points as YAAACE jumped out to an early lead. It seemed that they were destined to cruise to an easy win, but the Blues seemed to suddenly flip the switch.
Tevoun Jackson hitting jumper after jumper, and constantly finding teammates for open looks, the Blues continued to grind away at YAAACE until the lead was theirs. YAAACE went on a cold shooting streak early in the 2nd half, which allowed Scarborough to continue to pull away. Blues big man Raynold Kasongo anchored his team down low with several strong rebounds and offensive put-backs, making the upset a sure thing. While Tyvon Hall led a late comeback attempt for the top seed, one final flurry of scoring allowed the Blues to bury this one and win in impressive fashion, 86-56.
“I think we performed well as a team,” said Tevoun Jackson. “I hit a lot of shots and I was seeing my teammates well today, and they did a great job. I feel confident about our chances to win the championship.”
SCARBOROUGH-5’10 PG TEVOUN JACKSON, 6’5 F RAYNOLD KASONGO
YAAACE-5’10 PG TYVON
The Warriors Slay the Lions, Intense Battle
In a game where the officials seemed to decide early on to put away their whistles, The Brampton Warriors and the Ajax Lions waged an all-out war. Bodies were flying everywhere as both teams rebounded and fought for loose balls with desperation. Several careless turnovers in the first half put Brampton in an early hole.
The second half belonged to the Warriors, however, who seemed to be rejuvenated by their halftime break. Led by the steadying presence of point guard Lamar Joseph, the Warriors stepped up their defence by clogging their lane and blocking any attempts to slash to the bucket by Ajax. Forward Marcus Lewis, although struggling to find his scoring touch, seemed to provide a spark with his energy and athleticism. Up by 4 late in the game, Lamar Joseph hit a couple key shots to send the Lions running, and Brampton pulled off the minor upset, 68-58.
“The key to winning this game was boxing out and playing hard and really steady in the second half,” said Joseph. “I hit some shots today but my teammates played really hard, and that’s why we won.”
BRAMPTON-6’0 PG LAMAR JOSEPH, 6’4 F MARCUS LEWIS
A Good Day for Ontario Basketball
“It was great to see the hunger and the focus these players showed today,” said Sasha Malic, one of the convenors for the tournament. “You can definitely see the upside and the talent that these players possess. When you have a competitive tournament like this, it’s a great thing to see.”
With the Gold and Bronze medal games slated to be played tomorrow, there’s still more exciting action waiting to unfold. Stay tuned as NPH brings you the latest scoop on the U16 Ontario Basketball Championships!