Bishop Mac, Lourdes to meet in D10 senior final
GUELPH – The Bishop Macdonell Celtics and Lourdes Crusaders are to meet to decide the District 10 high schools senior girls’ basketball champion Saturday night at Guelph CVI.
Both posted semifinal victories over AAA opponents on their home courts Thursday. Bishop Mac and Lourdes are AA schools.
Bishop Mac will head into the final as favourites after going undefeated through the regular season, winning all 10 of their games and getting a bye into the semifinals.
“It’s a lot of pressure,” Bishop Mac captain Grace Drewry said of being the favourites. “Everyone is out to get us and we know that everyone is going to come out strong and they’re going to want to take the title away from us. We definitely want to show Lourdes that we’re ready to play and that we want to win D10 this time.”
The Celtics and Crusaders also met in last year’s final at Orangeville and Lourdes won 56-52.
“We have to be ready to play,” Drewry said. “Dario, our coach, has been saying the whole season that it’s not ours until the game is over.”
In Thursday’s semifinals, Bishop Mac defeated the Centennial Spartans 64-22 and Lourdes downed the Guelph CVI Green Gaels 36-24. Both the Celtics and Crusaders got byes to the semifinals after finishing the regular season one-two.
While the Celtics had defeated the Spartans 66-25 and 61-18 in regular-season play, they weren’t about to go into the semifinal thinking the win was a guarantee.
“You can never take your opponents lightly,” Bishop Mac coach Dario Di Renzo said. “I know we’ve played them in the past and obviously we won, but like I told the girls prior to the game you can’t take anyone lightly, any opponent, any team. You have to give them some respect every time you step on the court.”
“We definitely had to come out strong,” Bishop Mac captain Grace Drewry said. “They were obviously out to get us and that’s basically what’s been happening all season. Everyone’s been out to get us so we really have t keep the intensity up.”
The Celtics pulled away early in their win over the Spartans as they led 21-8 at the end of the first quarter, 35-12 at halftime and 49-17 after the third quarter.
Naomi Ganpo led the hosts with 12 points while Drewry and Alicia Higgins added nine apiece and Maddie St. Denis had seven.
Sabrina Smith struck for 10 for Centennial while Andrea Mullins had five.
Jessica Matthieu had 11 points for Lourdes in the win over GCVI while Jada Codrington netted nine.
Cassidy Andrews, Mandeep Jawanda and Leksi Dawes each had six for the Gaels.
Both the Celtics and Crusaders will have a single practice between their semifinal win and the championship match.
“(We’ll work on) sharpening up on our defence because I know we have to play well defensively if you’re going to win District 10,” Di Renzo said. “Defence is definitely always the key. We’ll definitely work on some rebounding and just defence.”
“Definitely just communicating more,” Drewry said was Bishop Mac’s focus at the practice. “We have to be more ready to anticipate the ball, that’s on passes as well, and just overall talking, better defence and boxing out, for sure.”
The winner of Saturday’s final advances to the CWOSSA AA tournament at Waterloo next Friday and Saturday.
“Lourdes has always been our opponent (for AA), especially the last few years,” Di Renzo said. “Again, we’re not going to take them lightly. They’re going to be prepared and we need to prepare ourselves as well for the final.”
Bishop Mac defeated Lourdes twice during the regular season, winning 53-20 at Bishop Mac in the season opener Sept. 19 and 56-36 at Lourdes Oct. 12.
Saturday’s D10 final is to start at 8 p.m.
GCVI will be the D10 representative at the CWOSSA AAA tournament next Friday and Saturday at Kitchener.
The Orangeville Bears and Ross Royals are to battle in the D10 junior final Saturday at GCVI.
In Thursday’s semifinals, Orangeville downed the Centre Wellington Falcons 55-27 while Ross defeated the St. James Lions 43-32.
Alicia Bowering connected for 19 points for Orangeville in the win over Centre Wellington while Marta Suarez added 15.
Frances Wolkensperg had five for the Falcons.
Sarah Hopkins collected 16 points for Ross in the victory over St. James while Megan Beamish followed with 12.
Grace Mencfeld had 19 points for St. James while Olivia Brown netted five.
The winner of Saturday’s championship match will be the D10 representative at the CWOSSA AAA tournament next Friday and Saturday at Kitchener.
St. James advances to be the D10 entry in the CWOSSA AA tournament next Friday and Saturday. The junior tournament is to play at Kitchener Friday and Waterloo Saturday.
The D10 junior final Saturday at GCVI is to start at 6 p.m.