TORONTO,ON–If there was going to be a team that was capable of giving the powerhouse squad from Ontario a run for their money in U15 action, it was this team from Quebec that came into their semi-final matchup with a point to prove. But despite matching up fairly well in terms of size, Quebec still struggled to keep pace with the seemingly indestructable Ontario team. The final score was 77-52, as Ontario handled another opponent with ease.
“I think we matched up well with them,” said Ontario coach Jason Dawkins. “Our guard play was good and a few guys came off the bench and really helped us.”
Ontario had a balanced attack in this one, with three players in double figures and six with at least eight points. Devonte Campbell impressed off the bench with eight points and seven rebounds on an efficient 4/7 from the field.
The two headed attack of Abdulaziz Atta and James Tyrrell made up the scoring presence for Quebec that every other province has lacked when matching up with Ontario. The two players were both coming off of big games in yesterday’s thrilling double overtime game against Saskatchewan, but it seemed that they exerted all of their energy just getting to this game. Either that, or Ontario is simple unstoppable. Tyrrell finished the game with 21 points while Atta somewhat struggled with nine points and six boards.
Quebec was able to trim the lead to ten in the second quarter, but cutting the lead much further than that proved to be nearly impossible against the deep Ontario squad. The team from La Belle province have been playing their starters extensively on the road to the semis, and it seems as if they simply ran out of gas.
Despite early struggles from 6’7 Chris Egi, Ontario turned up the pressure on the ball and frustrated Quebec into committing several turnovers that proved costly. From the way that the hosts have been playing, it looks like they, along with their U17 compatriots are destined to walk away with a pair of national championships.
“We are focused on our objectives and we will continue to work the ball inside tomorrow,” said coach Dawkins. “The two teams that we could face are very good, but we need to stick to our game plan.”
Whenever Ontario was in need of a spark off the bench, they were able to turn to backup point guard Reece Brooks. He did what he has done all tournament, and that is provide energy on both ends of the court with crisp passes and aggressive defence. His value to the team both on and off the court cannot be understated.
Despite a hot start to the third quarter by Quebec, Ontario weathered the storm and turned on the afterburners. They stretched the lead above 20 points late in the third, and cruised through the final ten minutes. Ontario moves on to play BC in the U15 National championshps tomorrow!
Chris Egi: 14 points, 4 blocks
Brody Clarke: 10 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists
Nolan Narain: 10 points, 4 rebounds
James Tyrell: 21 points, 3 rebounds
Abdulaziz Atta: 9 points, 6 rebounds