Hamilton duo’s golden moment for Team Ontario U17 girls

Team Ontario’s Under-17 Girls capped off an already impressive season for Team Ontario in memorable fashion, defeating British Columbia, 61-41, to win the Gold Medal at the 2013 Canada Games in Sherbrooke, Quebec.


Ontario jumped out to an early 26-8 lead over B.C. at the end of the first quarter, that saw Hamilton’s Christina Buttenham and Hilary Hanaka, and Shay Colley (Brampton) shoot lights out from the floor as Ontario took a comfortable 35-21 lead into the half.

In the second frame, Ontario came out stronger and continued to dominate on both sides of the floor as they entered the Gold medal quarter up 51-31. Buttenham and Colley both finished with 10 points and five rebounds each with Cheyenne Creighton (Pickering) adding 10 points and six rebounds. Hanaka finished with seven points and three assists. St. Catharines native Nancy Kessler, collected six points, seven rebounds and three key blocks while Michaela Nieuwenhuizen, (Strathroy) collected eight points and four rebounds in the win.

“These young ladies and their coaches embraced the spirit of the Canada Summer Games showing a passion to succeed and did so very impressively”, said Ontario Basketball president Ken Urbach.

“With this gold medal, the U17 boys’ gold medal at these games and the U15 girls and boys gold medals at Canada Basketball National Championships, the Ontario Basketball Association’s commitment to quality coaches, player skills and individual development has been fulfilled.”

This is the second-straight gold medal performance for head coach Jodi Gram, who captured gold with this team last year. Prior to this victory, Gram won gold three times at the national level, two with the U15 girls program and once with the U17 girls program.

This marks an all Ontario sweep at the podium at both the Canada Summer Games and the Canada Basketball National Championships as the U15 boys and girls also captured gold. The last time this happened was in 2011.