Double gold at Jonas Jam

by Rhonda Cooper

Meadow Lake’s annual Jonas Jam basketball tournament took to the hardwood last weekend with the home town girls and boys A teams emerging victorious.

In boys action, teams from Meadow Lake (2), North Battleford (2), Onion Lake, Lloydminster (2) and Melfort battled it out on the court. The two-day tournament kicked off with the JSJH Stingers taking on North Battleford’s John Paul II. The Stingers easily handled John Paul, scoring a lop-sided victory to advance against Melfort.

“We were up most of the game,” said coach Jeremy Sundeen. “We beat Melfort by 20-plus points.”

The win placed Jonas into the finals against Lloydminster’s Holy Rosary. Meadow Lake held a significant lead going into the final quarter when Holy Rosary started a come back.

Brodie Derocher drives to the net in the opening game of the annual Jonas Jam Feb. 3. Jonas easily handled North Battleford’s John Paul II squad.

“In the end we won by five points,” said Sundeen. “We played pretty well all weekend and I usually don’t count points, but in the final game I had three boys – Blake Prete, Aaron Varjassy and Brendan Sauer – who all scored more than 15 points (each).”

The boys are readying themselves for district play in Lloydminster this weekend.

“The top two will get a bye,” he said. “Right now there are three teams tied for first place with the other two teams set to play one another. I hope this weekend’s win will put us in the top two.”

Making up the girls’ side of Jonas Jam were teams from Meadow Lake, Saskatoon, Melfort, Prince Albert, Lloydminster (2), North Battleford and Macklin.

Meadow Lake defeated their first opponent John Paul II from North Battleford and then Lloydminster’s Holy Rosary team.

“It was a really good game,” said Jonas captain and guard Taiya Paylor. “It was really close but we put lots of pressure on them and we played really well as a team.” The five-point win put the Stingers in the final against Prince Albert’s Carlton.

“At first we were behind,” said Paylor. “I think we were a bit nervous in the first quarter and we weren’t making good passes. But going into the second period we started to pull ahead.”

When the buzzer sounded it was a Jonas victory.

“We definitely played better in the Holy Rosary game,” said Paylor. “That should have been our final but we won the Jonas Jam, our home tournament.”

The girls are also preparing for district play in Lloydminster this weekend. One of the their strongest competitors will be the Holy Rosary team.

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