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Saturday, Sep. 22, 2018
Sudbury boys hit their stride at Blessed Sacrement tourney
by Randy Pascal

It looks like the Sudbury Jam 16U Boys may just be hitting their stride.

Following a silver medal performance at the Durham Classic and a very respectable 2-2 showing in a deep field at the IEM Tournament in Newmarket, the local lads finally struck gold last weekend in Hamilton.

The Jam ran the table at the Blessed Sacrement Tournament, setting the tone early against an undermanned Guelph CYO crew. Looking to garner a little revenge against a team that defeated them at provincials last spring, the Jam rolled all over their opponents from Guelph, outscoring CYO 90-37.

Brennan LaPierre (21), Anthony Rogerson (17) and Abraham Soumahoro (14) all hit double digits, with Liam LaPierre narrowly missing out on making it a quartet, finishing with nine points. Demonstrating the unselfish ball distribution that is key for the Jam, and benefitting from a 32-minute workmanlike approach at both ends of the court, the northern squad made it two straight with a 63-46 win over the Barrie Royals.

Brennan LaPierre and Soumahoro would lead the way with 17 and 16 points respectively, while Eric Senechal (11) and Cedric Lessard (9) also chipped in nicely. A number of familiar faces from summer basketball camps were across the floor as the Sudbury reps stopped the Kitchener Wildhawks 64-44, as nine different players hit the scoresheet for the winners.

The top-end offensive duo of Soumahoro (14) and Brennan LaPierre (11) were joined by the likes of Mathieu Michel (6) and Rogerson (9), as Sudbury advanced through to semi-final play on Sunday. Cranking up the defensive intensity, the Jam would add another victim to the list, defeating the Ottawa Shooting Stars 79-65.

No less than five players recorded 11 points or more for the Jam, with Brennan LaPierre (14), Rogerson (13), Soumahoro (13), Senechal (11) and Félix Tubin (11) all turning the trick. Facing the Royals for a second time this tournament, and knowing the Barrie squad would likely want to turn the tables from their earlier loss, coach Denis Lessard and company focused on committing to a very strong start.

Up 15-6 after the opening quarter of play, the Jam would see the Royals cut the deficit to just four points by half-time, before displaying their versatility on the attack in the second half. It was "pick your poison" time for Barrie, as ten Sudbury players netted baskets in the final, allowing the locals to walk away with gold thanks to a 64-56 triumph.

Amazingly, only Eric Senechal with an even dozen exceeded the ten-point plateau, as buckets came from everywhere (Tubin-9, Rogerson-9, Brennan LaPierre-8, Liam LaPierre-7, etc...). Rounding out the 2017 roster for the 16U Jam are Carter Smrke, Miguel Poulin and Andrew Gauthier.

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