Green Gaels keep eye on CWOSSA AAA berth
Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal
GUELPH – The Guelph CVI Green Gaels have the District 10 high schools senior girls’ basketball league’s berth in the CWOSSA AAA championship tournament in their sights.
“This was a big game for us,” GCVI coach Matt Blair said. “Finishing third was big to give us this game and we assume we’ll be the AAA rep at CWOSSA. That was one of our goals at the beginning of the season so the girls are all happy and we’re all happy about that. Now something strange could happen.”
That “something strange” would be the Centennial Spartans beating the Bishop Macdonell Celtics in the semifinals Thursday.
Bishop Mac finished the regular season in first place at 10-0 while Lourdes was second at 8-2. GCVI was third at 5-5, Orangeville Bears fourth at 4-6, Centennial fifth at 3-7 and Ross sixth at 0-10.
Tuesday, the Gaels dropped Ross 43-16 in a league quarter-final to dispose of one of their AAA rivals. The game gave GCVI a chance to use its entire bench and to run its set plays.
“We had an opportunity to play everyone, which is always nice,” Blair said. “We had moments where we did play well. The girls we count on did pick up the pace a little and we did play everybody.”
Centennial slipped by Orangeville 27-25 in the other quarter-final, an all-AAA affair.
If the Gaels and Spartans survive until the same point in the playoffs, the Gaels will get the AAA berth by virtue of finishing higher in the league standings.
Tuesday, the Gaels started slowly before pulling away to the win. GCVI was ahead 6-2 after the first quarter, 22-3 at halftime and 31-10 after three quarters.
Yasmine Saleh, Cassidy Andrews and Emina Bektic had nine points apiece for the Gaels while Leksi Dawes added seven.
Payton Rickers had seven for Ross with Courtney Ing getting four.
“We’ve had a good season,” Blair said. “Our goal at the start of the season was to finish in the top three. We knew BM and Lourdes were going to be two very strong teams and we had games with Orangeville and Centennial and we were all very competitive. We were happy with getting third place. It was work, Centennial and Orangeville, they were all good games. Any one of us really any night could beat each other, so that was good.”
With the win, the Gaels advance to play the Lourdes Crusaders in the semifinals. That game is to go Thursday at 4 p.m. at Lourdes.
“They’re last year’s D10 champions with almost the same team back,” Blair said. “They’re fast. They’re aggressive. They play well together so we’ll have our hands full.”
The Gaels lost both its games with the Crusaders during the regular season, Lourdes winning 58-22 Oct. 10 and 73-38 Nov. 2.
“It will take us handling their pressure,” Blair said of what GCVI has to do to get by Lourdes. “They’re very fast and they’re very aggressive. If we can handle their early pressure, we’ll be OK. We’re bigger, but they’re fast and their fast has beaten our big so far this year. Having said that, both times we played them, I was missing starters. That’s no excuse, but it’s high school ball and everybody is always missing somebody. Hopefully with our best group starting, we can be competitive with them. That’s our goal, to be competitive to set a good note going into CWOSSA.”
The D10 senior championship game is slated for Saturday at 8 p.m. at GCVI.
Centennial 27 Orangeville 25
Sabrina Smith hit for 19 points for Centennial.
Lindsay Grant had 11 for Orangeville.
Centennial is to play the Celtics at Bishop Mac Thursday at 4 p.m. in the semifinals.
A bit of an oddity, but none of the four schools represented in the senior semifinals are represented in the junior semifinals.
Thursday’s junior semifinals have the Centre Wellington Falcons playing the Bears at Orangeville at 3:45 p.m. and the St. James Lions playing the Royals at Ross at 4 p.m.
Orangeville finished atop the standings at 14-0 and was followed by Ross at 12-2, St. James at 10-4, Centre Wellington at 7-7, Bishop Mac and Centennial each at 5-9, GCVI at 2-12 and Lourdes at 1-13.
In Tuesday’s quarter-finals, Orangeville dropped Lourdes 57-19, Ross downed Guelph CVI 51-21, St. James defeated Centennial 48-38 and Centre Wellington beat Bishop Macdonell 41-29.
The D10 junior final is to go Saturday at 6 p.m. at GCVI.
Orangeville 57 Lourdes 19
Marta Suarez had 19 points for Orangeville while Alicia Bowering netted nine.
Lourdes received 11 from Ashley Ciccia.
Ross 51 Guelph CVI 21
Sarah Hopkins had a game-high 18 points for Ross while Megan Beamish followed with 11.
Sofia Lucena had seven for GCVI and Amandeep Jawanda contributed six.
St. James 48 Centennial 38
Grace Mencfeld struck for 24 points for St. James.
Jessica Zhu had 22 for Centennial and Maddie Patrick chipped in with eight.
Centre Wellington 41 Bishop Macdonell 29
Scoring details were not reported.