Guelph Prep remaining positive in first season

Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal

GUELPH – For the Guelph Prep Junior Gryphons, it’s a matter of looking for small victories and not paying attention to the final scores during the inaugural season of the Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association’s girls’ league.

“We do a lot of team building,” Guelph Prep head coach Karen Bremner said. “We have to make sure we’re keeping process goals in mind as opposed to outcome because right now the outcome is very overwhelming, but if we can see growth within our small numbers, that’s a sign or progress,”

The Jr. Gryphs were handed a 72-45 setback by King’s Christian Collegiate of Oakville Wednesday night at the Mitchell Athletics Centre.

“We are making strides in terms of stringing together little stretches of good basketball,” Bremner said. “We still have big lapses and we need to limit those, but considering we had six healthy bodies today, I’m pleased with where they’re at right now.”

Guelph Prep was without three players due to injuries, two with back injuries and the other with a broken finger. Alicia Higgins saw limited time in the game as she was accidentally poked in the eye in the first quarter and kept out of the remainder of the game for precautionary measures.

King’s Christian led 13-12 after the first quarter, 33-18 at halftime and 59-33 at the end of the third quarter.

Shanese Miller led Guelph Prep with 16 points while Keanna Samuels and Mya Irish each had 13 points, Irish getting nine of her points on foul shots. Mackenzie Obermayer had the other three.

King’s Christian had four players hit double figures in scoring as Mide Oriyomi and Christina Morra had 17 apiece and Arianne Soriano and Laeticia Amihiere each netted 10.

“This is a very competitive league, full of very highly-targeted athletes,” Bremner said. “The group we have has so much potential, but they’ve never been put in the position that some of these girls have for many, many years. It’s been a big point of emphasis in terms of their growth in just persevering through things because, technically, we have a lot to do.”

It was the second meeting of the season between the two teams. King’s Christian won 91-36 at Oakville Nov. 22.

King’s Christian leads the league at 8-1 and is followed by Durham Elite at 7-2, Bill Crothers at 4-3, Lincoln Prep and TRC Academy at 5-4, Southwest Academy at 2-6, Louis-Riel at 1-6 and Guelph Prep at 1-7.

While Guelph Prep isn’t going to limit its focus to a single aspect of the game, top of the list of things that need to be worked on is defensive play.

“We have a very distinct ceiling in terms of the number of points we can put up in a game,” Bremner said. “I don’t know if there’s going to be a huge spike in that over the course of the year so I think defensively is where we need to make our money so that we’re not giving up 70 points in a game. We can narrow that gap and bring them closer to where we are and that’s how we stay competitive.”

The Jr. Gryphs have averaged 44 points per game from a high of 68 to a low of 33. They’ve also yielded an average of 71 points per game from a high of 91 to a low of 60.

Guelph Prep has six games left in its first season including four at home. They’re to host Lincoln Prep Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at the Mitchell Athletics Centre.