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07/31/2017

ONTARIO BASKETBALL U15 BOYS’ & GIRLS’ TEAMS WIN NATIONALS GOLD

Ontario Basketball’s U15 Team Ontario Girls and Boys representatives both claimed gold medals in National Championship competition going a combined 10-0 in the tournament. 

The 2017 National Championships were organized by Canada Basketball at the University of Regina and featured top-calibre young players representing their provinces.

“We at Ontario Basketball are thrilled with the results of the competition and this double-gold is an indicator that our young talent is being developed the right way – together,” said Jason Jansson, executive director. “Congrats to all those who supported our teams, the parents and coaches, and all our athletes!”

In the girls’ final, Team Ontario used their athleticism and dominated on the boards to earn a 75-55 win over Quebec. Up 40-23 at the break the girls opened the second half on an 8-1 run and didn’t look back. Ontario’s leading scorer was Merissah Russell with 20 points. 

Aaliyah Edwards was named tournament MVP after averaging 17.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists. Russell and Callie Wright were named first-team all-stars and Ciante Downs was named to the all-star second-team.

“It makes my heart go,” said forward Jada Grannum. “We worked hard to get here – a lot of training camps, a lot of long days.”

“It’s great to see her here with a gold medal around her neck, it’s also great for our family,” added Fred Grannum, Jada’s father who coached the boys U15 team at Nationals who also met Quebec in the final. 

Ontario’s depth of talent was on display in the boys final where they hung tight with Quebec in the first half thanks to Johnathan Avgousti’s three triples. Team O turned up the intensity in the second half, outscoring Quebec by 18 in the third quarter to cruise to an 88-71 final score. Ontario was led by Caleb Houstan who grabbed 11 rebounds to go with his game-high 21 points.

Avgousti was named tournament MVP after averaging 14 points per game. Houstan and Charles Bediako were named to the tournament's all-star first team and Tyler Delevante was named to the second team.

“All of our practice before was just like the school work and that was the final exam so it felt good,” said boys’ tournament MVP Johnathan Avgousti.

Both teams won bronze in 2016’s National Championships.

Full scores and results from the U15 National Championship can be found here.

The U17 provincial teams look to duplicate the U15 teams' double gold performance at the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg from July 29 to August 3. See the full schedule and watch all the games live!

 

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