The 15U and 17U Boy’s National Championships concluded in Fredericton tonight, with Quebec winning the 15U championship over Ontario, 88 – 78, and again in the 17U Championship over Ontario 84 – 77.

15U Boy’s National Championship

The championship game tipped off at 4:00 p.m. Atlantic Daylight Time, where we saw team Ontario take on Team Quebec.  The game was played at an extremely fast pace, and throughout the first quarter, Ontario and Quebec were essentially trading bucket for bucket.  At the close of the first quarter, we saw Quebec lead 19-17, with both teams playing at a high level especially on the fast break.  Earlier in this tournament, we saw Ontario blow out Quebec, with this in mind it seemed as though Quebec came out with something to prove with this heightened defensive intensity.  

Although Ontario kept the game close, they were never able to build a lead, as every time they cut into the deficit, Quebec immediately answered back. While only playing 25 minutes, Aurel Karl Ntahindurwa of Team Quebec had a game-high 25 points, shooting 58%, while their All-Star Christian Payawal struggled shooting 20% on the night.  Even when your best players are in a slump, the best teams are able to find a way to get it done. 

While the defense was strong for both teams, it came down to shooting, and Quebec finished the game shooting 40% versus Ontario’s 35% which was the difference.  

*Click here for the box score.

15U MVP – Freud-Ansley St. Felix  #11 – Quebec

15U First Team All-Stars
Name Team
Xavier Spencer Alberta
Braeden MacVicar Nova Scotia
Jahsemar Olembe Ontario
Jaiden Cole Ontario
Christian Payawal Quebec
15U Second Team All-Stars
Name Team
Bubu Bejamin Alberta
Ravjeet Randhawa British Columbia
Lorence Dela Cruz Manitoba
Thomas Ndong Quebec
Ben Power New Brunswick

17U Boy’s National Championship

Going into this match, many were hesitant to say Ontario had a chance to win this based on the dominance Quebec had shown over the course of the week. Come the close of the first quarter, after a big 3 made by Thierry Tshibola, it seemed as though Quebec was going to continue their dominance, as Quebec led 29-14, while the Ontario team headed to their bench at the close of the first, it looked as if they had already lost hope.

However, that was not the case.  Ontario came out fierce and played with a sense of urgency.  Ontario was able to hold Quebec to 11 points in the 2nd, while putting up 25 points, closing the 2nd with the score of 40-39 Quebec.  One individual who had highlighted the first half was MVP Benedict Mathurin, who was almost unstoppable on the isolation this game.  Benedict finished the game with 23 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists 2 steals and a block while shooting 52%.  Benedict was lethal on all parts of the court, which really allowed Quebec to open up space for other players as Ontario was forced to double him on numerous occasions.  

The end of this game was riddled with emotion as with 32 seconds remaining on the clock and Quebec leading by 3, Quebec inbounded the ball leading to a deflexion from Ontario’s Kyle Duke, in a scramble for Ontario to get the ball, Kyle Duke was called for an unsportsmanlike foul, providing Quebec two free throws and possession of the ball.  The game ultimately closed out with free throws and Quebec taking home the gold 84-77. 

*Click here for the box score.

17U MVP – Benedict Mathurin #6 – Quebec

17U First Team All-Stars
Name Team
Mason Kraus Manitoba
Darius DeAveiro Ontario
Olivier-Maxence Prosper Quebec
Joshua Soifer Saskatchewan
Norm Burry New Brunswick

17U Second Team All-Stars
Name Team
Owen Weaver Alberta
Domenic Parolin British Columbia
Kyle Duke Ontario
Nelson Cilien Quebec
Malcom Christie New Brunswick

While the gold medal games were nothing short of outstanding, this was consistent with the outcome of the bronze medal game as well in the 17U Bracket.  In a storybook comeback, the host Province New Brunswick was able to come away with the victory over Saskatchewan.  After trailing almost the entire game, New Brunswick had a resurgence, as they went on a 17-2 run in the third quarter, where they never looked back. 1st Team All-Star Norm Burry was a major part in this comeback victory as he dropped 32 points while adding 13 rebounds and 7 assists.  In a near triple-double performance, Norm helped lead New Brunswick to a bronze medal, with an 84-77 point win.  

Meanwhile, in the 15U Bracket, Alberta was able to cap off their tournament with a blowout victory over Nova Scotia winning 67-54.  This game felt lopsided for a vast majority of the game, as Alberta started with the lead, and never gave it up. With two players scoring in double figures, Alberta dominated this game and took home bronze in the 15U Bracket. 

It was a spectacular week of basketball at the 2019 National Championships, and Canada Basketball wants to congratulate all participants in the work they put in over the course of the week, till next year.