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Tuesday, May. 21, 2019
U12 Jam girls just that close in a 17-16 final
by Randy Pascal

Four games decided by a grand total of 12 points.

The Sudbury Jam U12 Girls may have been somewhat dismayed in falling just short of their end goal of an Ontario Basketball Division #3 championship banner, but it was not for lack of fighting tooth and nail with some very even competition.

The Jam needed a 13-0 fourth quarter run to garner some positive traction at the outset of the tournament, overcoming a 22-13 deficit in game one against the Mississauga Monarchs and eking out a 26-22 win.

Nine different players on the team contributed at least a basket to the victory, with Lileigh Lavallee leading the way with six points in an age bracket in which equal participation is mandated and tracked.

The emotion of the opening encounter may have taken a bit of a toll on the local girls, who saw their record fall to 1-1 on Saturday morning thanks to a 31-25 setback at the hands of the Gloucester Cumberland Wolverines.

Olivia Nicholls (6 pts) and Naomi Burrows (5) showed the way offensively for the Jam. Needing a win to make things interesting in a four-team pool in which no one went either winless or undefeated, the Sudbury crew trimmed the St Catharines Rebels 25-23 as Lea Lemieux jumped to the forefront with a key seven-point performance.

Pitted opposite a Peterborough Power squad that posted a 3-0 record in Pool "B", the Jam fell victim to an 8-1 third quarter run that would provide just enough breathing room for their adversary, as Peterborough clipped Sudbury 17-16 in the gold medal affair.

Head coach Wayne Lozier certainly could not complain as Kiersten Goudreau made it four different leading scorers in four games for the Jam, netting five points for the northern girls.

The provincial runners-up bring together a crew of Olivia Nicholls, Naomi Burrows, Abbygail Lavigne, Lea Lemieux, Lileigh Lavallee, Violet Smith, Sophie Prince, Kiersten Goudreau, Hannah Burton, Rylie Moore, Kaylee Vaillancourt, Makayla Tuttle, Sidney Skrobot, coach Wayne Lozier, assistant coach Dave Nicholls and team manager Natalie Goudreau.

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