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Sunday, May. 19, 2019
U19 Jam girls still not receiving their due respect
by Randy Pascal

The Sudbury U19 Jam girls have not yet garnered the type of respect that head coach Rick Fillion believes the team realistically deserves.

Looks like there is no choice, for the squad, than to continue knocking off the provincial elite, until minds are changed.

The local crew recently attended a tournament in southern Ontario, dropping only one encounter to a team from Québec, and upsetting the #1 ranked team in Ontario along the way.

Seeded 10th based on the initial Ontario Basketball rankings released over the course of the past few weeks, despite having defeated the third, fourth and fifth ranked team heading into this particular event, the Jam bolted to a 15-3 first quarter lead in their opener, taking care of business to the tune of a 60-45 final against the Huntsville Hurricanes.

Ariane Saumure topped the scoring parade for the Sudbury reps, netting 21 points and followed closely by Celeste Dupuis with 20. Riding some solid shot-making from three-point land, the Jam bounced Durham City Basketball Association 79-44 in game two, with Saumure (20), Arielle Douillette (12) and Dupuis (11) leading a very balanced attack for the winners.

The circled game, however, was clearly next, as the Jam looked forward with anticipation to tipping off opposite the Stoney Creek NYB, the team above all others when the statistical algorithms were finalized recently.

The locals again started quickly, ahead 19-12 after eight minutes of play, but were deadlocked at 44-44 heading to the fourth and final quarter. Thankfully for coach Fillion, his troops closed out strong, registering an impressive 63-55 victory as Saumure (17), Harmony Martel (14), Douillette (12) and Dupuis (10) all hit double-digits for the Jam.

A bit of a letdown in their final outing, most notably the second quarter, as the northern girls fell behind 35-12 and were unable to close that gap substantially, beaten 63-41 by a strong squad from La Belle Province. All in all, however, a very solid weekend for the group.

"The team is developing quite nicely, with only five returning players from last year, two new imports from the Muskoka area, and three junior players in the roster (two grade 10s and a grade 11)," said Fillion.

"We continue to work on our defensive game, and both offensive and defensive transition. With a player as quick as Saumure, we run the floor quite well, looking to score off transition. Although we have multiple players that can score off dribble penetration, opponents consider as a shooting team, first and foremost."

The 2018-2019 team roster includes Harmony Martel, Arielle Douillette, Kate Dahmer, Cloe Douillette, Talia Eusepi, Ariane Saumure, Josée Filion, Celeste Dupuis, Gabby Arsenault, Grace Tresidder, co-coaches Rick Fillion and John Desormeaux, and assistant coach Larry Dahmer.

The U19 Jam are scheduled to return to tournament action from April 12th to 14th in Newmarket, anxious to build momentum towards the OBA provincials in Kitchener-Waterloo on May 10th to the 12th.

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