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Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018
Sudbury Jam second only to Transway in JUEL Prep League
by Randy Pascal

Only the powerhouse Hamilton Transway crew stood in the way of a gold medal performance for the Sudbury 16U Jam girls basketball team, competing this season in the JUEL (Junior Elite) Prep League.

Part of a 14-team 16U grouping, the Jam finished second only to Transway (19-0) in regular season play, posting a record of 16-3 while featuring the best defensive outfit in the league which included entries from Ottawa, Windsor, London, Toronto and Kingston, and several points in between.

That second place seeding allowed the local girls to open JUEL Championship weekend against the 13th place Simcoe Muskoka Royals, with the Jam recording a solid 75-24 triumph.

Next up, the host Windsor Valiants as the Sudbury squad worked their way into a final four berth, bouncing the ninth place team 65-33. This is when things really got interesting, the Jam finding themselves opposite the 3rd seeded London Ramblers (15-4) in semi-final play.

The contest itself proved to be every bit as tight as the teams' proximity in the standings, as the Sudbury Jam withstood a late rally from the Ramblers, holding on for a 55-53 win.

In the final, it was the sharp shooters from Hamilton who jumped out to the early lead. A furious comeback bid from the locals would show signs of character and determination, but alas, not enough to topple the juggernaut as Transway defeated the Jam 80-67.

There was no lack of individual hardware making the return trip north, with three players receiving special recognition:

Emilie Lafond: 1st Team JUEL Prep All-Star; 1st Team JUEL All-Defensive player

Delaney Bourget: 2nd Team JUEL Prep All-Star; Molten JUEL Prep All-Academic Award

Mireille DiMaio: Dunbar Community Service Award

Additionally, Bourget and Lafond will be joined by teammates Shannon Clarke, Dylann Mazzuchin and Claudia Pellerin at the league all-star game being hosted on May 26th at Sheridan College.

Rounding out the 2017-2018 roster for the 16U Jam were Jadyn Weltz, Abby Frick, Grace Smrke and Sami Dunlop-Bassett.

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