On November 13, 2016, the St Laurent Express defeated the SBA Blues by a score of 59-58 in order to win the Juvenile Division, Tournoi Express tournament Championship in Montreal, QC.
Taisha Exanor came alive for her Montreal, QC based Express team in the second half. That’s where she scored all fourteen of her points, including 11 in the fourth quarter to help her host team, secure the win of their home tournament.
The Express came out in the Final taking the game right to the Blues. The Blues, from Scarborough, ON, earned their appearance in the Championship game after coming off of a very hard fought 3 point win in the Semi-Final. There they defeated a very strong Lucien Pagé team. But here, they found themselves in a hole very early in the game, down 15-2. Express Point Guard, Joy Taan Tobias connected on two 3-pointers, as her team was also able to spread the floor and get to the rim with players such as Grace Koffi. They were even able to pound the ball inside to players like Jenny Alexis who scored twice for four points, all contributing to help to give their home side and fans, the early lead.
That lead was chipped away by the Blues, who forced some turnovers and managed to significantly slow down the Express scoring in the second quarter. Offensively, they leaned on their tough Guard, Kiara Leveridge, who in the second quarter scored ten points, most of them in the paint, to bring the game to a much more manageable 34-30 deficit at halftime.
With both teams playing their second game of the day, the pace in the second half understandably did not stay the same as it did in the first. But for the Blues, the momentum stayed in their favour. After St Laurent scored the first two points of the half to go up 36-30, the Blues when on a 18-4 run, limiting the Montrealers to just one Taisha Exanor 3-pointer. Six points by Breanna Breedy and five more from Leveridge saw the Blues take their first lead of the game, and a 48-40 lead by the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter St Laurent took the game to their Ontario opponents, making the most of an injury and foul trouble by the Blues. Exanor, connected once again from long distance in the fourth, and willed her team to the victory. On the strength of her athleticism and shooting ability, she proved to be a handful in the final frame, as a last minute charge earned the home team the win, overcoming a 58-55 deficit at the end of the game to come out with the 59-58 victory.
Leading Championship Game Scorers
St Laurent Express
T. Exanor – 14 Points
G. Koffi – 13 Points
K. Leveridge – 20 Points
B. Breedy – 12 Points