Team Ontario U15 Boys and U17 Girls Win Gold at 2018 Nationals
Ontario’s U15 Boys and U17 Girls concluded the 2018 Canada Basketball National Championships with gold medal victories on Saturday, August 11 in Kamloops and Fredericton, respectively.
Ontario’s U15 Boys captured their second consecutive Nationals gold with a commanding 84-65 win over Team Quebec.
Meanwhile, in a rematch of the 2017 Canada Summer Games final, Ontario’s U17 Girls—ranked No. 2 entering Nationals—defeated top-ranked Quebec, 67-56, to maintain the top spot on the podium at Nationals; the U17 Girls also finished first at the last two Nationals in 2016 and 2015.
In total, all four of Ontario’s provincial teams earned a spot on the podium, as the U15 Girls won silver and the U17 Boys claimed bronze.
Boasting a deep and talented roster, Team Ontario’s U15 Boys compiled a 5-0 record en route to celebrating a second consecutive National title.
In the U15 Boys final, Ontario was paced by Captain D.J. Jackson (Mississauga), who poured in a game-high 30 points to go with 13 rebounds.
Jackson was named tournament MVP after averaging 20.2 points and seven rebounds per game.
— Ontario Basketball (@OBABBall) August 12, 2018
Waterloo native Josiah Davis added 16 points and eight rebounds, while Vaughan’s Noah Ngamba chipped in with an efficient 13 points and nine rebounds.
Head Coach Mike Selliah credited his team’s on-court success to the unselfish disposition of his players.
“The 12 athletes that represented Ontario at this competition really came together and bought into our style of play,” commented Selliah following his team’s gold medal win. “They were able to trust each other and execute throughout the week. We are very happy with their hard work and dedication.”
Davis and Ngamba also garnered recognition as First Team All-Stars, while Javier Gilgeous-Glasgow (Toronto) was selected as a Second Team All-Star.
After falling to Quebec earlier in the tournament, Ontario’s U17 Girls responded with an impressive 67-56 victory in the gold medal final, limiting Quebec to just 35 per cent shooting while forcing 19 turnovers.
Maggie Besselink (Kingston) led the way for Ontario with 16 points and nine rebounds, while Andrea Dodig (Bolton) contributed 14 points and four rebounds.
Besselink was awarded tournament MVP after averaging 12 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.
Congrats Maggie!! https://t.co/FLRnXyTCYH
— Ontario Basketball (@OBABBall) August 12, 2018
Ontario finished the tournament with a 4-1 record. The team’s lone defeat came at the hands of Quebec during pool play.
Dodig and Kaillie Hall (Hamilton) also collected individual accolades, as the young Ontarians were named First Team Tournament All-Stars.
Team Ontario’s U15 Girls settled for silver after falling to British Columbia, 65-56, in the gold medal final.
Izabella Zingaro (Bolton) was Ontario’s leading scorer with 15 points on four-of-eight shooting.
Toronto’s Abigail Jegede added 10 points, four rebounds and three assists, while Teah Stupar (Etobicoke) chipped in with nine points and six rebounds.
Courtesy of their strong play throughout the tournament, Jegede and Zingaro were selected as First Team All-Stars.
Zingaro averaged a team-high 10.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. Jegede, meanwhile, posted an impressive all-around stat line, averaging 9.4 points, five rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.8 steals per game.
Ontario reached the gold medal game after compiling an impressive 4-0 record, including a win over B.C. in their tournament opener.
Team Ontario took a 14-point lead into halftime against British Columbia, but second-half foul trouble enabled B.C. to mount a comeback.
Ontario’s U17 Boys won bronze after defeating British Columbia, 80-57, on Saturday afternoon in Kamloops.
Kobe Elvis (Brampton) led the way with 17 points and seven rebounds, while Kordell Charles (Ajax) netted 11 points and nine rebounds.
“It was a terrific effort by our guys today,” said Head Coach Jamie Campbell post-game. “Everyone contributed in this win. The team got better every day this week and it really showed in this effort.”
Ontario began the tournament with back-to-back losses against B.C. and Alberta, but rebounded to earn a hard-fought 81-77 win over Team Manitoba in the quarter-finals.
Ontario’s quest for gold, however, came to an end in the semi-finals as they fell to Quebec, 96-94, in overtime.
Across five games, the U17 Boys compiled a 2-3 record.
“It was a tough start to the week but we eventually started to buy in and come together as a team,” stated Assistant Coach Omar Miles. “We battled through adversity and won a bronze medal through a full team effort.”
Ontario’s defence improved exponentially throughout the tournament, culminating with a strong showing against B.C. on Saturday.
“We’re really happy with the commitment our guys made to the defensive end. We improved every day and after a slow start to the tournament, we began to gel as a team,” commented Lead Assistant Kevin Barnes. “We had several guys make big defensive plays. Darius (DeAveiro), Josh (Primo) and Josh (Bascoe) all took charges in our final three games and that really set the tone for our group.”
Two Ontario athletes received All-Star honours as Josh Primo (Mississauga) was selected to the First Team All-Star roster while Ryan Nembhard (Aurora), 15, was acknowledged as a Second Team All-Star.
Look Back at the Action
Even though Nationals are over, you can still enjoy the highlights!
About Team Ontario
Team Ontario consists of the top male and female basketball players in the province in the U15 and U17 age categories, and the teams are a continual medal favourite at the annual Canada Basketball National Championships. Team Ontario’s coaching staff also represents some of the top coaches in Ontario. Between the four teams, Team Ontario has won gold at over 70% of the national championships since 2002.