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Wednesday, July 24, 2024
Sports: U19 Rangers basketball team still undefeated in league play
Coach Jonathon Thorpe credited tough team defence, led by Kai Schatz, Josh Smith, Carter Stoutenberg and Ben Johnson, for helping Niagara to an 86-77 win over South Simcoe. DAVE VAN DE LAAR

After going 6-0 in their Ontario Basketball Association division, the Niagara Rangers U19 men’s team was moved up one tier to face some stiffer competition.

That’s where head coach Jonathon Thorpe, of Niagara-on-the-Lake, had wanted them to start the season and after their first two games in Pool C, it looks like that’s where the Rangers belonged. They’re 2-0 in their new division.

The team, comprised of players from NOTL, St. Catharines and Niagara Falls, remains undefeated in league play and has competed well in tournaments, winning one in Barrie two weeks ago.

Playing Sunday at Crestwood Preparatory College in North York, the Rangers relied on 30 points from Chad Thorpe to roll to an 86-77 win over the South Simcoe Sonics.

Dylan Durlov helped out the cause with 12 points while Ben Johnson and Carter Stoutenberg contributed 11 each.

“This was a really hard-fought, physical game,” Coach Thorpe said, helped out by “some tough interior defence from Kai Schatz, Josh Smith, Carter Stoutenberg and Ben Johnson.”

In their second game Sunday, the Niagara squad routed Belleville 71-46, with the sharp-shooting Thorpe notching 28 points and Stoutenberg adding 11.

“This game was really a dominating performance from start to finish,” the coach said.

“Some excellent defensive play caused a lot of turnovers, which resulted in many fastbreak opportunities.”

This weekend the Rangers hit the road and travel to Belleville for their last four games of the regular season.

They face the Oxford Attack at noon on Saturday and then have a rematch with South Simcoe at 4:30 p.m.

On Sunday, at 10:30 a.m. they tip off against the Kingston Impact, followed by a 4:30 game versus Eurostep.

“We then have two weeks off where I will try to get a couple of exhibition games,” Thorpe said.

After that Niagara will be competing in the Ontario Basketball Association championship tournament June 2-4.


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