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08/10/2009

U15 TEAM ONTARIO BOYS WIN GOLD AT NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

The U15 Team Ontario boys represented the province at the 2009 U15 National Championships in Kamloops, British Columbia, August 2-9, 2009.

Athletes
Kaza Kajami-Keane - Ajax (Ajax Lions Basketball Club)
Henry Tan - Maple (St. David Blues)
Troy Reid-Knight - Concord (St. David Blues)
Daniel Nwosu - Ottawa (Ottawa Guardsmen Basketball Club)
Filip Music - Toronto (SOKO Basketball)
Patrick Pilato - St. Catharines (Niagara Selects)
Duane Notice - Woodbridge (Toronto JCC)
Adam Djukic - Toronto (Bounce / CIA Youth)
Donnele Munda - Pickering (St. David Blues)
Isaiah Watkins - Toronto (North Toronto Basketball Association)
Marko Pirovic - Bolton (Caldeon Cougars)
Agunwa Okolie - Ajax (St. David Blues)

Coaches
Head Coach: Brad Rootes
Assistant Coach: Craig Steel
Manager: Bryan Blue

Schedule
Aug 4 Ontario 124 vs. Alberta 51
Aug 4 Ontario 107 vs. Saskatchewan 67 
Aug 5 Ontario 82 vs. B.C. Blue 73
Aug 6 Ontario 93 vs. Nova Scotia 73 (Quarter Final)
Aug 7 Ontario 101 vs. Saskatchewan 65 (Semi Final)
Aug 8 Ontario 87 vs. B.C. Blue 60 (Gold Medal Final)

See below for post-game reports from Derrick Stryker, Manager of Basketball Development. For live results and updates, click here.

Boys Ontario v. British Columbia Blue Squad – Gold Medal Final
An impressive effort came from the Ontario boys all week at the 2009 Canada Basketball National Championships in beautiful Kamloops, British Columbia. After winning all five of their previous tournament games, Team Ontario looked to make it a perfect outing by winning the gold medal in a match up versus the home B.C. squad. Coach Brad Rootes had three keys to victory entering the match up; control the tempo, own the paint and want it more.

The crowd was into the game from the beginning getting behind the home B.C. squad but Ontario accomplished one of their keys to victory early by controlling the tempo. The back court was owned by guards Henry Tan, Duane Notice, Kaza Kajami-Keane and Troy Reid-Knight as they created confusion and disruption with their fearless doubling press. With that effort Ontario was up ten through ten.

The second quarter was no different from the first as the Ontario boys kept up the tempo and dominated the B.C. squad. B.C’s triangle and one defence was no match for Duane Notice who deposited 17 points and shot three for four from three point range. Going into the half, the boys from Ontario led 49-24.

By continuing to spread the scoring gap in the third quarter, Team Ontario began to empty their bench and showed what a deep and powerful team they brought to British Columbia. With everyone getting involved, the boys entered the fourth quarter with a 77-39 lead and could almost taste a victory.

By the fourth quarter the Ontario forwards truly answered the call to Rootes’ second challenge of owning the paint. With a succession of block shots, enormous interior defence, and great finishing moves, the big boys laid claim underneath the hoop on both ends of the court. At the point when the clock ran down to double zeros, Team Ontario celebrated an 87-60 victory and gold medal to sport around their necks.

“This was a team win,” said coach Rootes. “It was great to see everyone play so well in the final game when it all mattered the most.” For the first time in the tournament every player from Ontario scored showing that they successfully completed the trio of Rootes’ keys to victory, they truly wanted it more.

Ontario Scoring Leaders:
Duane Notice 26
Henry Tan 11
Kaza Kajami-Keane 9

Ontario Rebound Leaders:
IsaiahWatkins 9
Adam Djukic 5
Kaza Kajami-Keane 5

Ontario Tournament Awards:
Duane Notice – Tournament MVP
Henry Tan – First Team All-Star
Daniel Nwosu – Second Team All-Star

Boys Ontario v. Saskatchewan – Semi Final
Team Ontario was set to take on Team Saskatchewan for the second time in the 2009 Canada Basketball National Championships in a semi final show down. In the earlier matchup Ontario struggled early but eventually pulled off a 40 point victory. The beginning of the semi final matchup was no different as the two teams traded basket for basket early on.

To open up the second quarter, Team Ontario began to roll. Led by their leading scorer, Duane Notice could score at will on the Saskatchewan zone defense. Going 50% from the field including 3/5 from downtown, Notice ended the half with a 20 point performance. At the half, Team Ontario led Saskatchewan 50-38.

Throughout the third and fourth quarter Team Ontario slowly increased the scoring gap by picking apart the Saskatchewan zone defense, and beating them up and down the court on transition. With Coach Rootes shuffling in substitutions, keeping the players fresh, they were able to outwork a Saskatchewan team who was tired from only giving major minutes to eight players. The final result had Ontario over Saskatchewan in a final of 101-65.

Game MVP went to a deserving Henry Tan (Maple) who deposited 16 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals in 18 minutes of action. This effort included shooting 7/10 from the field inclusive of a 2/4 effort from three-point landing.

This win advances Team Ontario into the final against home province British Columbia’s Blue squad. Tip off will be at 11:15PM EST on August 8. The team from B.C. qualified for the final by defeating Team Alberta their semi final matchup.

Ontario Scoring Leaders:
Duane Notice 27
Henry Tan 16
Daniel Nwosu 12

Ontario Rebound Leaders:
Agunwa Okolie 7
Adam Djukic 7
Marko Pirovic 6

Ontario Assist Leaders:
Duane Notice 8
Kaza Kajami-Keane 7

Boys Ontario v. Nova Scotia – Quarter Final
Thursday night’s quarter final matchup saw the Ontario Boys heavily favoured against a winless team from Nova Scotia. With more than a 30 hour break since their last game, Ontario looked hungry and focused to pick up a win and be launched into a semi final match up against Team Saskatchewan.

Right from tipoff the Ontario boys showed their confidence going on an 8-0 run. At the end of the first quarter Ontario led 26-6. Throughout the second quarter, Team Nova Scotia chipped away at the lead as Ontario started to look complacent. At the half, the spread was 17 in favour of Ontario.

In the third, the boys were faced with a bombardment of three pointers from Nova Scotia guard David Benoit who finished the game 4/5 from behind the arc. This attack saw the lead dwindle to five at which point coach Brad Rootes was forced to take a timeout to realign the troops.

Out of the timeout, Ontario closed out the quarter on a 14-4 run and did not look back. Implementing proper closeouts with hands up and making defensive rotational adjustments was the key to success in the second half. The final result saw Ontario gain their fourth win of the championships by a score of 93-73.

Duane Notice (Woodbridge) scored a game high 33 points to go along with seven rebounds, four assists and three steals in his third game MVP effort. Other game standouts came from guard Daniel Nwosu (Ottawa) who shot 80% from the field scoring ten points and playing a solid game on defense. Strong play from forwards Agunwa Okolie (Ajax), and Isaiah Watkins (Toronto) had them combine for 21 points and 16 rebounds.

The Ontario Boys will next see action on August 7, at 9:00EST as they advance to the semi-final against Saskatchewan. This Saskatchewan team has been playing very tough as their quarter final result had them winning a comebacker in overtime against a talented team from British Columbia.

Ontario Scoring Leaders:
Duane Notice 33
Isaiah Watkins 11
Daniel Nwosu 10
Agunwa Okolie 10

Ontario Rebound Leaders:
Agunwa Okolie 9
Isaiah Watkins 7
Kaza Kajami-Keane 7
Duane Notice 7

Ontario Assist Leaders:
Kaza Kajami-Keane 8
Duane Notice 4
Henry Tan 4
Troy Reid-Knight 4

Ontario vs. British Columbia Blue Game 3
After a first day showing that saw Team Ontario boys win both their games by a combined spread of 113 points, they were set to take on their toughest competition thus far. In the first minutes of the game Ontario and British Columbia’s high powered offenses matched each other basket for basket. A dunk provided by Duane Notice (Woodbridge) changed the tempo of the game as Ontario created steals and capitalized on scoring opportunities. To close out the first quarter, B.C. went on a 6-0 run while Ontario held onto a 19-14 lead.

The second quarter proved to be a battle for both teams as the score stayed within nine points. The entire half included three ties and four lead changes. British Columbia showed strength by outrebounding Ontario, while Ontario had a sturdier defense forcing 16 turnovers and holding their opponent to only 27 points.

Coach Brad Rootes gave the boys a message at half to adjust to the B.C. attack. “I told the guys that they need to communicate on screens,” said Rootes. “They needed to deny and drop into the help side to take away easy baskets.” In total Team Ontario went into the break with a seven point advantage.

Throughout the second half Ontario managed to fend off the home team from numerous attempts to steal the lead. Despite this, the lead never got closer than five and to B.C.’s credit Ontario could not stretch the gap beyond 13. In the end, Ontario held onto an 82-73 victory with Notice taking his second game MVP nomination with a 35 point, 8 rebound effort.

Coach Rootes was quite pleased with his guard work. “Credit to Duane who made sure that when the game got close he made sure the result had us winning,” said Rootes. “Henry (Tan) and Troy (Reid-Knight) also did an awesome job frustrating the B.C. guards.”

Henry Tan (Maple) gave a tremendous effort on defense virtually taking B.C.’s backcourt out of the game, limiting their ability to bring the ball up the court, and contributing 13 points and six rebounds from off the bench.

“Today we showed great character being able to overcome adversity,” said Rootes. “The bench was strong. With three of our bigs fouling out, the bench did a great job to clean up the glass.”

This win places the Ontario boys in first place in their pool. As a result they will have some rest leading up to tomorrow’s quarter final match up which will take place at 11:15PM EST.

Ontario Scoring Leaders:
Duane Notice 35
Henry Tan 13
Troy Reid-Knight 10

Ontario Rebound Leaders:
Daniel Nwosu 9
Duane Notice 8
Isaiah Watkins 6
Henry Tan 6

Ontario Assist Leaders:
Duane Notice 5
Kaza Kajami-Keane 3

Ontario vs. Saskatchewan Game 2
In the evening matchup of the 2009 Canada Basketball National Championships the Team Ontario boys took on Team Saskatchewan. Confidences were high after earning a 73 point win earlier in the day.

Early in the game Team Ontario took a slight lead as Saskatchewan was making a majority of their shots from all over the court. The Ontario bench was used liberally as all 12 players touched the court by the beginning of the second quarter. Duane Notice (Woodbridge) put his minutes to good use by looking to score, and making crisp passes to set up his teammates in scoring positions. Notice led the first half scoring with 18 points as Ontario went into half time with a 65-37 lead.

Coach Brad Rootes credited the second quarter result to Ontario matching Saskatchewan’s intensity. “If we didn’t come out in the second with more energy and try to outwork them (Saskatchewan), we wouldn’t have been able to put up the points we did,” said Rootes.

In the second half the boys continued to roll, led by their forwards who dominated the paint. “We used size to our advantage because our big guys were taller and longer,” said Rootes. Team Ontario won the points in the paint and rebounding battles outdueling Saskatchewan by 20 in each of the two statistical categories.

The end of game result had Ontario outscoring Saskatchewan 107-67. Ontario’s game MVP went to Notice who had an impressive stat line of 25 points, nine rebounds, six assists and four steals.

Ontario’s next game will take place Wednesday August 5, at 12:00PM EST as they take on the home province of British Columbia blue squad who is also undefeated.

Ontario Scoring Leaders:
Duane Notice 25
Marko Pirovic 18
Henry Tan 16

Ontario Rebound Leaders:
Duane Notice 9
Isaiah Watkins 7
Patrick Pilato 6

Ontario Assist Leaders:
Kaza Kajami-Keane 6
Duane Notice 6
Patrick Pilato 5

Ontario vs. Alberta Game 1
The boys U15 Ontario provincial basketball team kicked off the National Championships in Kamloops, B.C. Tuesday morning against Team Alberta. This national championship is hosted by Canada Basketball, Basketball B.C. and Thompson Rivers University.

The Ontario boys jumped out to an early 12-0 run using a full court press only allowing Alberta over the mid-court line once. By the end of the first quarter Ontario led 32-14. The second quarter was no different from the first. Ontario continued their offensive barrage with quick attacks and capitalizing on open looks. Going into the half the boys had a 64-26 advantage led by Duane Notice (Woodbridge) with 12 points and Adam Djukic (Toronto) with 10.

The second half was filled with open shot opportunities and a strong half court defense. With only eight turnovers for the entire game, Ontario showed that taking care of the ball will lead to victories. The game’s scoring was led by Djukic who hit five of six from behind the arc and tallied a team high 24 points in 17 minutes of action.

Donnele Munda (Pickering) was named the game MVP as he added ten points to Ontario’s 124-51 victory.

Coach Brad Rootes was very pleased with the outcome. “We took care of the ball and did a great job with shot selection and decision making,” said coach Rootes. “Defensively we kept on the ball pressure which forced turnovers and in the second half we corrected the rotation mistakes.”

Rootes was also pleased with the efforts from the bench. “We were able to play all 12 players, everyone had a positive contribution and we will be fresh for tonight’s game,” said Rootes. Tonight the boys Ontario team will take on Team Saskatchewan at 9:00 PM EST.

Ontario Scoring Leaders:
Adam Djukic 24
Duane Notice 17
Filip Music 15

Ontario Rebound Leaders:
Agunwa Okolie 7
Isaiah Watkins 6
Adam Djukic 6
Duane Notice 6

Ontario Assist Leaders:
Kaza Kajami-Keane 5
Patrick Pilato 4
Duane Notice 3

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