The DCVI Senior and Junior girls basketball teams finished their 2012 seasons on a positive note at the WOSSAA ‘A’ championships, hosted by St. Marys DCVI last Thursday.
Both Saluki squads captured bronze medals in the day-long Western Ontario tournament, featuring four Senior teams and four Junior teams.
Scott Shaddick’s DCVI Juniors defeated Mitchell Blue Devils 34-26, while Sue Lawrence’s Senior girls defeated Arthur Voaden Vikings from St. Thomas 42-33.
Third quarter turns tide
In the Junior game, Salukis trailed 14-12 at half-time, but out-scored the Blue Devils 13-0 in the third quarter to turn the tide in their favour.
St. Marys forced Mitchell to turn the ball over numerous times, and out-scored the Devils 22-12 in the second half.
Hard-working April Clark paced the Salukis with nine points, while Emma Watt had eight, Ashlyn Maxwell seven and Shaelyn Lindner five. Maxwell sparked her team’s third-quarter run with six points and several steals.
Michelle Louwagie had nine points for Mitchell, and Bernie DeDecker six.
“We had a lot of foul trouble in the first quarter, and we were lucky to keep it tight,” Shaddick said.
“The girls responded very well in the third quarter, playing good defence and running the floor to score some easy lay-ups.
“I’m very proud of these girls,” he added.
Seniors apply strong pressure
In the Senior game, forward Shauna Simpson poured in 17 points to lead the DCVI Salukis past Arthur Voaden.
“The girls dominated play for the first three quarters, but we could not buy a basket,” St. Marys coach Sue Lawrence said. “The score should have been in the 60s at the beginning of the fourth. Missing so many opportunities almost came back to bite us as Arthur Voaden went on a scoring spree and fought back in the fourth quarter.
“A key time-out call with 1:40 left got the girls settled down and we kept possession of the ball. We were able to deflate the drive by St. Thomas and finish with the medal.”
Simpson said St. Marys applied strong pressure on the Arthur Voaden team the entire game.
“We put really good pressure on them,” she said. “We were pressing them the whole game, that’s probably why we won, and we hit our shots when we had the openings.
“At the very end, St. Thomas scored about 10 points really quick, but we were able to hold them off.”
Rebecca Wilcox and Taylor Simpson added seven points apiece for Salukis.
Physical first game
The Junior Salukis’ opening game against North Middlesex Marauders from Parkhill was a physical affair, coach Shaddick reported.
It was close at the start before Marauders pulled away for a 38-22 victory.
North Middlesex led 9-4 after the first period, 16-11 at half-time, and 27-19 going into the fourth quarter.
Ashlyn Maxwell had six points for St. Marys, Emma Waymouth and Hailee Thomson four apiece, and Emma Watt three.
“It was a very, very physical game, and we were expecting that,” Shaddick said. “North Middlesex always plays a very physical basketball style, and we matched it with intensity.
“We had trouble getting on the board at the beginning, and we spotted them nine points early. We stayed with them most of the game, before they stretched it out by the end.”
What gave Marauders the overall edge, Shaddick was asked.
“They shot the ball extremely well, and hit shots when they were open,” he replied. “And they took care of the ball a little better than we did.”
Poor shifts hurt Seniors
In the Senior Salukis’ opener at noon, the score was close for the first quarter only as they dropped a 47-26 decision to the Monseigneur-Bruyere Pantheres, from London.
Pantheres were in front 6-5 after the opening eight minutes, but found their scoring touch early in the second quarter--extending their lead to 16-7.
The London team led 22-14 at the half-time break.
Salukis narrowed the gap to five points early in the third quarter, before Pantheres started pulling away for good. They scored 21 points in the quarter and held a commanding 43-21 advantage going into the final eight minutes.
“We had two bad shifts, which put us down eight to 10 points each time, and that was it,” coach Lawrence said. “One was in the second quarter, and the other lapse was in the middle of the third quarter.
“After the first quarter, we thought were in it for sure. The breakdowns happened so quickly, we just didn’t have a chance to get them off the floor and get a time-out to fix it. Then we were in a hole.”
The Monseigneur-Bruyere team finished the game with five three-pointers.
“They’re a single ‘A’ school that plays in an ‘AA’, ‘AAA’ or ‘AAAA’ league,” Lawrence pointed out. “So they’re probably used to shooting long range from the outside.”
Meghan Morelli sparked the Pantheres with great outside shooting, and finished the game with 21 points. Guard Sarah Pallett added eight points, and was the best ball handler on the court.
Shauna Simpson led St. Marys with 13 points. Courtney Dowling and Sami Anderson added five points apiece and Laura Van De Walle three.
• Only the Senior girls champion from WOSSAA advances to OFSAA ‘A’ in Pain Court (west of Chatham). Mitchell Blue Devils defeated Monseigner-Bruyere 49-47 in the championship game.
In the Junior gold-medal game, North Middlesex defeated Glencoe 39-28.
• Scott Shaddick was this year’s WOSSAA ‘A’ basketball convener.