TORONTO, ON- The U17 British Columbia basketball program added another historic achievement by capturing the bronze medal in convincing fashion over a tough Alberta squad by the score of 84-62 . Led by the dynamic guard play of Isaiah Solomon, forward Cole Penman and big man Cameron Smyhte, BC dominated most of the game due to their prolific defensive play and desire to win.
In a tightly contested first quarter, British Columbia utilized a high tempo system using an aggressive full court press in an attempt to suffocate the Alberta offense. Alberta was able to keep calm and composed using effective shot selection and displaying a solid in and out system to stay in the game. Despite Alberta’s inability to stop BC from hitting from three, they kept the game close by going into halftime only trailing by six.
Going into the second half, British Columbia turned on the jets and never looked back outscoring Alberta by seventeen and holding them to only ten points in the third quarter. Cameron Smythe picked up his game and made his presence felt by recording two phenomenal blocks and many key rebounds. Smythe was more agressive on both ends of the floor, which certainly paid dividends forthe west coast contingent.
“We didn’t come out the way we wanted to in the first half, but in the second, we came out with such a passion and you could really see the difference” coach Paul Eberhardt told NPH.
British Columbia finally put the nail in the coffin in the fourth with punishing post play and an impressive perimeter game, shooting 40% from beyond the arc and scoring nearly half their points from the paint.
Credit goes to Alberta, who did all they could, but it simply wasn’t enough to beat such a determined and resilient BC team.
Already preparing for next year, coach Eberdhardt mentioned, “We need to get better, Ontario is always the strongest, we need to get accustomed to the aggressive, in your face style and continue to play the top competition.”
Cole Penman: 20 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks
Isaiah Solomon: 13 points, 5 rebounds, 5 steals, 1 assist
Cameron Smythe: 13 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals
Kyle Peterson: 18 points, 6 rebounds, 5 steals
Dallas Karch: 8 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists