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Thursday, Apr. 25, 2019
U-11 Jam recalibrate, set their sights on larger goals
by Randy Pascal

The Sudbury Jam U11 Boys were apparently in need of a mid-season recalibration.

Competing for the very first time in Ontario Basketball Association (OBA) tournament play last year, the local crew would close out the season by capturing the Division 9 banner.

"Our team was very happy to win the gold medal in our division, but we knew that there were 64 teams in the province that were better than us and we were determined to inch our way closer to that number one spot," noted head coach Joshua Brohart.

"Our goal for our second season was to compete in and possibly win Division 7, which would have us passing 16 teams." The youngsters, however, were ready to tackle far more than that.

Posting a first half tournament record of 8-4, the Jam would lose only to teams that are currently ranked in either Division 3 or Division 4, besting all opponents who were slotted lower.

"Although the boys greatly exceeded their pre-season goals, they took some time to celebrate, then recalibrated and have now set their sights on a Division 5 crown by the end of the season.

Heading into the Barrie Royals Tournament two weekends ago, the Sudbury squad found themselves ranked as the top team in Division 6 (#41 overall), climbing 24 slots since the end of the 2017-2018 campaign.

Adjusting their search of opponents, the Jam were anxious for the tests that awaited them in Barrie. The locals opened with a 33-31 loss to the Orangeville Hawks (#42), the team that would go on to claim gold at this event.

A motivated host team awaited them in game two, as the Barrie Royals (#30) stopped the Jam 50-34, with the northern crew still searching for their first win following a 38-34 loss to the York North Avengers (#35).

The frustration of dropping a pair of close encounters would be levelled in the direction of the Whitby Wildcats (#60), as the Jam took advantage of the lower seed to register an emphatic 71-20 victory.

Time to circle back to the Avengers for a second time, with bronze medals on the line, as York North trimmed the Sudbury boys 45-41.

The roster for the Sudbury Jam U-11 squad, this year, features Michael Seccaspina, Michael Folino, Sullivan Smith, James Mongeon, Cade Kirwan, Ralph Belzile, Ethan Dobson, Dylan Nelson, Bradley Cothill, Ian Ziegler, Tyce Dewar, Judah Brohart and Gabriel Larocque.

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