Moments after Jahdyah Adams helped his Oakwood Barons capture the AAA city championship he was happy, but also knew the club had accomplished exactly what everyone had expected.
Adams led the way with 12 points en-route to the Oakwood Barons’ 14th AAA city championship in the last 15 years, thanks to a 61-39 victory over the Richview Saints.
It was an impressive all-around performance from Adams. He not only tied in the team-scoring lead with Kevin Duduque, but was dishing to teammates for multiple threes, draining the energy from Richview.
“I found my teammates, I got to the hoop, I love to create for others, it gives our bench and everyone else a chance to shine,“ Jahdyah said. “I thank the coaches … they pushed us through, hard work pays off, it really does.”
Oakwood’s consistency of excellence over the better part of the last two decades has been remarkable. Head coach Anthony Miller, who has been calling the shots for each of the 14 titles in the last 15 seasons, spoke to the culture of the school and just how impressive their run has been.
“It’s history, I think it’s in our blood at Oakwood to be good at basketball, so sometimes it seems like we win on expectations,” Miller said. “It’s great, we’re synonymous for basketball, we’re probably one of the last high school powers left in the city, so it’s always good when we can represent Toronto at OFSAA.”
From the start, defence and physicality was their mantra, and they shut Richview down. The Saints couldn’t score in the paint, apart from a few highly-contested makes from Hakim Fenton.
On the perimeter they didn’t have space either. Oakwood’s defensive rotations were sound and they didn’t allow Richview to get hot from beyond the arc, preventing them from what allowed them to succeed in the semi-final.
Oakwood’s success beyond the three got them out to a nine-point advantage early.
Spurred on by Fenton’s game-high 13 points, the Saints fought hard to keep their deficit to only 11 at the half, but in the third quarter, the Barons proved to be too much and they put the game away.
in the second half, the Barons’ defence took over. They implemented their full-court press which created multiple turnovers while suffering the Saints’ offence.
Their lock-down defence led to transition offence allowing Oakwood to pour on, increasing their lead from 11 to 25.
In the final frame the Barons showed their poise. Every posession they extended to near the end of the shot clock, preventing Richview from scoring in succession quickly. It was a close-out performance of a team that has the experience of being champions.
Even when Richview conjured up some magic that could have sparked a comeback, Oakwood never panicked. The Saints’ Pavle Masic hit an and-one three-point shot for a four-point play.
In response the Barons came down the floor, used the whole shot clock, then drained a corner three to halt any potential comeback bid.
Oakwood moves onto OFSAA where they will represent Toronto’s AAA senior division. The tournament runs March 9 to 11, in Burlington.