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Valuable lessons learned by Impact players at championship tournament

April 27, 2014

Kingston Impact may have emerged from the Ontario Basketball bantam boys championship tournament with nary a victory, but that does not mean they did not make great strides, their coach believes.

“We played our best basketball of the year for three and a half games but it just wasn’t enough for a win,” Mike Chapman said after his team dropped a 42-35 decision to the London Ramblers Sunday at Frontenac Secondary School.

“Our players have grown a lot from all this.”

In its fourth game of the weekend, the Impact was playing superbly at both ends of the floor as Sunday’s game began. Kingston built a 15-point lead by the middle of the second quarter and led by six points at halftime.

London played pressure defence throughout the second half and the Impact, plagued by turnovers and poor rebounding, could not hold the lead.

The Impact, which dropped a nine-point decision to Oakville in its tournament opener Friday night, was beaten 41-35 by the Milton Stags and 37-31 by the Mississauga Monarchs Saturday.

Against Milton, the Impact faced the same distinct height disadvantage — the Stags have three players in excess of six feet in height; Kingston’s tallest player is 5-foot-4 — that led to a lopsided defeat less than a month ago. “So this defeat was actually a positive outcome,” Chapman said.

“We played incredibly tight defence, managed to grab a surprising number of rebounds and found a way to match most of their points throughout the game,” Chapman said. As it did the previous night, the Impact closed its deficit to three points with a couple of minutes to play but couldn’t pull even.

Against Mississauga, despite some strong help defence and some good contributions from the bench, the Impact again couldn’t overcome a size disadvantage. “It was another example of a team staying close to (an opponent) that I’m sure thought was going to cruise to victory,” Chapman said.

Playing in an eight-team draw in Division 10 of the giant 102-team tournament, Kingston played “above its level,” Chapman said.

“These games have been real victories in (terms of) the progress of the team.”

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From → Amateur sport

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