The Sudbury SYBA Jam U-10 Novice Girls are wasting little time in setting the bar high.
Competing in the Ontario Cup Provincial Club Championships in Chatham late last month, the locals emerged victorious despite the fact that the young ladies were making their first appearance at an all-Ontario competition.
Opening play against the Scarborough Blues, the Jam rallied from an early deficit, receiving a key late basket from Arianna Ghorbani in securing a 17-12 win. Offensively, the team was paced by Grace Smrke (6 pts), Delaney Bourget (5) and Ally Elliott (4), while Dylann Mazzuchin was absolutely stellar defensively, producing a number of momentum changing steals.
In game two, Sudbury pulled away from a 9-9 half-time tie with the Niagara Rangers, scoring 15 points in the final quarter and posting a 28-16 win in order to secure first place in Pool A.
Bourget poured in a dozen points as no less than 10 seperate Jam players found the score sheet, including Grace Tresidder, Victoria Adams and Shannon Clarke, all with key contributions offensively. Sami Bassett-Dunlop anchored the defence with strong rebounding and Tresidder provided solid two-way play, holding a talented opposing guard in check in the final frame to help the Jam take control of the game.
The Sudbury crew found its stride in the semifinal encounter, bouncing the Brantford Briers 29-5 and earning a berth in the championship affair. Cassie Yurich, Gia Aoude, Elliott, Adams and Bassett-Dunlop all came through with four points apiece, with Bourget adding five more to her tournament totals.
A much tougher matchup was in line for the final as the Jam tangled with the Orillia Lakers, recent tournament champions at the Blessed Sacrament event in Hamilton. In a true team effort, the northern girls picked the ideal team in producing their best defensive effort of the season, slowing down a high-octane Lakers' attack and walking away with a provincial banner.
Bourget showed the way offensively for the locals, finishing with 13 points, with Mazzuchin and Elliott netting four points each. Defensively, the Sudbury quartet of Yurich, Adams, Clarke and Ghorbani were particularly imposing, setting the tone for coach Bruce Bourget and company.
Posted by Laurel Myers