As the Sudbury Youth Basketball Association (SYBA) prepares to welcome 24 top-end U17 (Juvenile) female basketball teams to town for the Ontario Cup this coming weekend, the majority of the SYBA squads are in the process of returning north from their out-of-town provincials.
Competing in the Division 4 ranks, the Sudbury Jam U14 Major Bantams needed a pair of close wins to claim silver in Brampton last month. Beaten 45-32 in their first game by the Mississauga Monarchs - Manning, the Jam managed to edge both the Durham City Chameleons (38-36) and the Niagara Selects (34-33), earning a rematch, on a tie-breaker, with the powerful Mississauga squad.
This time around, the game went right down to the wire, with the Monarchs squeaking past the Jam 36-34.
Still with Division 4 competition, the Sudbury Jam U15 Midgets closed in style, winning both of their final two outings after starting provincials at 0-2.
The Jam had trouble containing the eventual gold-medal winning Motion Lady Ballers from London out of the gate, thumped 74-41, but held things much closer while losing 31-26 to the Etobicoke Thunder in game two.
By the time Saturday afternoon rolled around, the local girls had discovered the winning formula, trimming the London 86ers 38-36 and besting the Dundas Dynamo 47-44 in a battle of fourth place teams.
Travelling to the Niagara region this past weekend, the Sudbury Jam U16 Major Midgets managed to squeeze out a victory before heading home, also slotted into Division 4 play.
The Jam were outscored by the Etobicoke Thunder (37-35), Stoney Creek NYB (65-61) and Burlington Basketball (48-35) before rewarding themselves with a 47-44 triumph over the Dundas Dynamo, also in a battle of the fourth place finishers.
The Sudbury Selects U13 Bantam Boys managed to battle their way to a 3-1 record in the Division 8 grouping (there were 12 divisions province-wide), making the trek to Kingston in April.
The Selects kicked things off with a 56-41 win over the Durham City Bulldogs East, losing a critical game to the Kitchener-Waterloo Vipers (42-38) the next day.
Despite picking up a second victory, this time over the Ancaster Magic (49-38), the Sudbury lads finished in a four-way tie of teams at 2-1, bumping the Selects right out of medal contention and into an encounter featuring 3rd place teams.
Still, the boys managed to make the most of it, stopping London Gold Medal 46-39. At home this coming weekend, the Sudbury Jam U17 Juveniles will tip off Friday evening at 6 p.m. at the Ben Avery Gym (Laurentian University) opposite the London 86ers.
Win or lose, the team is back in action on Saturday morning at either 9 or 10:30 a.m., closing out pre-medal play later in the day. Ontario Cup U17 Division 2 action is slated to take place at Cambrian College from May 9-11, with the Division 3 crew assembling over at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School.