Jam Atom girls climb all the way to number five
by Randy Pascal
The Sudbury Jam U-12 Major Atom Girls just kept climbing the charts this year, capped off with a fifth place finish at the Ontario Cup
Provincial Championships late last month in Newmarket.
A very solid crew right out of the gate last fall, the Sudbury girls found themselves cracking the top ten in Ontario in the mid-season rankings, good
for a Division 2 seeding. Still, the improvement kept coming, vaulting the team up to #7 overall in the pre-provincial seedings, pitting the Jam against the
very best teams, in the province, in their age bracket.
Despite surrendering a clear-cut advantage in height, alone, to the Durham City Chameleons (#3) in their opening encounter, the local ladies
capitalized on a tenacious defensive effort from Mia Yurich, some tough play inside from Madina Jebreen, and back to back three-pointers from
Bree Bourget, helping to keep the favourites close.
The Chameleons eventually pulled free, posting a 47-31 victory on Friday evening. Things were equally as tough on Saturday morning as the U-12 Jam
went toe to toe with Transway Basketball (#2) in Hamilton, with the contest remaining tight until the very end.
Pitted against an outstanding guard from Transway, Isabel McKague was relentless in applying constant pressure for the northern reps, while
Kami Drager paced the offense with nine points. Still not quite enough, as Transway downed the Jam, 31-24.
Knowing their were still goals to be achieved, the locals were not about to hang their heads, closing out their round robin schedule with a matchup
against the Tecumseh Saints (#6) from Windsor.
With the precision passing of Mahtressa Paris leading to a handful of key baskets, and siblings Syla and Savvy Swords leading the
attack with nine and eight points respectively, the Jam hit the win column, stopping the Saints 40-35.
Facing the 1-2 team from Pool "A" in their last game, the team led by coaches Jen Bourget and Shelley Swords found themselves trailing the
Kitchener-Waterloo Wildhawks (#5) by six at the half.
With the sideline enthusiasm of Ella Bourget cheering them on, the Jam tied the contest with a three point basket from Emilie Miller, just
as the third quarter concluded. Critical free throws down the stretch from Sophie Alexander, Mathilde Fleury and Olivia Tissot sealed the deal
as the Jam edged the Wildhawks 33-32, wrapping up the season as the fifth ranked team in Ontario.