Pat Payton, Gazeet sports editor
Bridget O’Reilly and her St. Michael Warriors Senior girls teammates proved to be just too much for Huron-Perth League basketball opponents this year.
In the H-P championship final Monday at St. Mikes, O’Reilly poured in 35 points to lead Warriors to a convincing 81-40 victory over Northwestern Huskies. Laura Vere added 17 points for St. Mikes, and Becky Dewetering eight more. Hailey Caven had 13 points for Huskies, while Ashley Smulders contributed 11. In the regular schedule, Warriors were 10-0, while Huskies finished second at 9-1.
Warriors overwhelm Rams
In last Wednesday’s Senior semi-final games, St. Mikes overwhelmed the Central Rams 69-20, while Northwestern downed South Huron Panthers from Exeter 41-24. At St. Mikes, Warriors used a swarming, stifling defence to completely dominate the Rams. St. Mikes scored enough points (25) in the first quarter to win the game, and power forward Bridget O’Reilly, with 24 points, out-scored the entire Central team.
Warriors led 25-5 after the first quarter and 49-10 at the half-time break. For all intents and purposes, the game was over at that point, but the St. Mikes team refused to take the foot off the throttle. Warriors run the floor with fast-breaks, hustled after loose balls, and controlled the boards at both ends of the court. The home team also gave Rams’ guard Stacey Brookshaw a lot of attention when she brought the ball up the floor.
“Defence and offensive rebounds wins playoff games,” St. Mikes coach Steve Goforth said. “And Lauren Quinlan did a nice job of shutting down the Brookshaw girl today.”
Warriors simply played hard for the entire 32 minutes.
“It’s the best team I’ve had for that,” coach Goforth noted.
“We hadn’t played in two weeks (due to a first-round bye) and the girls were liked caged animals today. I didn’t want hold them back,” he added with a smile.
O’Reilly, meanwhile, was an unstoppable force, nailing three of St. Mikes’ five three-pointers on the afternoon. Becky Dewetering added 15 points, and an outstanding 17 rebounds, and Taylor Grasby contributed 11 points--including a three-point bucket. Assistant coach Jim Hurley noted that Warriors shot 20-for-44 inside the arc, and were 10-for-15 from the free-throw line.
Under close scrutiny, Brookshaw did well to score 11 points for Central. Olivia Croft added four. Over at Northwestern Wednesday, Huskies used a balanced scoring attack to defeat South Huron and gain a berth in the conference final. Hailey Caven paced the offence with 10 points, while Amanda Zehr had eight, and Holly Deighton and Jesyka Young six apiece. Kennedy Warren and Brenna Atthill scored six points each for Panthers.