U12 Jam enjoy hometown support on the road
by Randy Pascal
Buoyed by the support of what often seemed like a hometown crowd, the Sudbury U12 Jam Girls captured gold in Ottawa earlier this month, posting an
unblemished record of 5-0 en route to returning home with another tournament banner.
With several of the local players enjoying the benefits of family connections in the nation's capital, the Jam had no trouble assembling two full bleachers of
partisans for virtually every single outing.
Those fans were treated to some very exciting basketball, all of which started on Friday evening as the Sudbury girls survived an overtime session in downing the
Kingston Impact 32-26. Syla Swords and Isabel McKague led the offense with 11 and 9 points respectively, while Savvy Swords got to the
line in adding three points of her own. Defensively, the toughness and tenacity of Mia Yurich helped hold the Impact at bay.
Defense would be key again Saturday morning as the Jam bested the Ottawa Shooting Stars 26-17, with Syla Swords accounting for more than half of the output
for the winners with 14 points. Mahtressa Paris added four points, while Mathilde Fleury chipped in with a bucket, also contributing effectively to the
team victory with her aggressive play.
The locals were firing on all cylinders come Saturday afternoon, outscoring Ottawa South 61-12 behind a very balanced attack that featured no lack of
well executed team play. Topping the scoring charts were Syla Swords (15), Bree Bourget (8), Kami Dreger (6) and Olivia Tissot (5).
A 3-0 mark advanced the U12 Jam to a semi-final rematch with Kingston, with the teams equally as closely matched in the sequel. The end result was a nail-biting
two point win for the northern reps, as Sophie Alexander stepped up with a pair of critical baskets to go along with several blocked shots, while
Emilie Miller’s feistiness at her own end of the court helped make life difficult for the Impact on each and every possession.
A new adversary awaited in the final, as Sudbury trailed the Nepean Blue Devils by two points going into the final four minutes of the gold medal game.
From there, it was all Jam as Ella Bourget enthusiastically encouraged her team to a 9-0 run, leading to a 41-34 triumph. Coaches Jen Bourget and
Shelley Swords noted the intensity of Madina Jebreen (three points) as one of the primary contributors to the win.
Needless to say, the girls are looking forward the rest of the season, with a tournament in Barrie coming up soon, and Provincial Championships set for March.