Bears, Royals claim D10 girls’ basketball titles
GUELPH – The Orangeville Bears recovered from a slow start to capture their first District 10 high school senior girls’ basketball championship since 1984.
The Bears downed the reigning two-time champion Centennial Spartans 62-47 in Saturday’s final at the Guelph Gryphons Athletics Centre.
“We felt good going into this game,” Orangeville coach Koven Padayachee said. “We had good practices this week. We watched game film last night. We had a little pizza party and the girls were excited about this game. We got here early and we did walk through. All the girls knew what we had to do to win this game. We’re a team that grinds to the end. We pressed the whole game. We really grind them right to the end and teams get tired playing us because we play so fast and so up-tempo.”
The win came despite trailing 10-1 three minutes into the match. Maybe that was due to playing in the university facility which is certainly not like any high school gym.
“Our very experienced players are used to it,” Padayachee said. “They play high-level basketball outside of here so they’ve played in arenas like this before.”
Orangeville got the gap down to a single point (15-14) by the end of the first quarter and surged ahead 31-25 by the end of the opening half. They extended the lead to 47-36 by the end of the third quarter.
Emma Firth and Ayla Corrigale were co-MVPs for the Bears as they handled the majority of the scoring for Orangeville. Firth led with 30 points while Corrigale had 23.
“They mean a lot to this, but every girl on this team had a role and they’ve accepted their role,” Padayachee said. “They do all the dirty work for those two. They go get rebounds for them. They’re looking for them. They set screens for them and they’ve been okay with it all year. Honestly, those two wouldn’t be able to succeed if it wasn’t for the rest of them.”
Emily Wheeler added five points for the Bears while Lilian Beattie and Chloe Regimbal netted two apiece.
Several of Orangeville’s players were members of the squad that won last year’s D10 junior title.
Jenna Davey was Centennial’s MVP Saturday with a 20-point outing while Hayley McMillan followed with nine and Nica Borghese had seven. Natasa Sajic chipped in with five, Natalie Cremasco contributed four and Julia Everitt had two. A single point wasn’t attributed to anyone.
The two opposing coaches, Padayachee and Centennial’s Toffer Treiguts, were teammates for 13 years during their playing careers. The total includes high school ball at Centennial, university ball with the Guelph Gryphons and pro ball in Australia.
Orangeville advances to be the D10 representative in the CWOSSA AAA tournament hosted by Centennial Friday and Saturday. It’s pool play on Friday with Orangeville playing Assumption Lions of Brantford at 9 a.m. and Waterloo-Oxford Crusaders of Baden at 6 p.m.
For the Bears, it could be like a home game even though they travel in almost an hour to play.
“It’s a ways, but our kids have at least played in that Centennial gym and they know that gym. They like that gym. It’s like a home game,” Padayachee said. “Hopefully all of the girls they play with from Centennial will be there cheering them on.”
Other teams in the tournament are St. Mary’s Eagles of Kitchener, Kitchener-Waterloo CVS (KCI) Raiders of Kitchener and Waterloo CI Vikings.
Top two in each pool move on to Saturday’s playoff round. Semifinals are set for 12 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. and the final is to go at 7 p.m.
Lourdes Crusaders are to be the D10 representative in the CWOSSA AA tournament in Cambridge at Galt CI Friday and Saturday. The Crusaders are to play the D9 champion Friday at 9 a.m. in the opening round. Time of their second game and opponent depends on first-round results, but they’re to play at 3 p.m. if they win their first game or 4:30 p.m. if they’re beaten in their first game. And their opponent will be either John Diefenbaker Trojans of Hanover or the host Galt CI Ghosts.
Saturday is the playoff round with semifinal games at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and the final at 8 p.m.
The two teams that reach the final are to play of the provincial OFSAA AA championship tournament hosted by the St. James Lions of Guelph Nov. 23 to 25.
Junior Girls’ Basketball
Ross Royals claimed their first D10 junior title since 2005 as they surprised the Bishop Macdonell Celtics 54-47 in the final.
The Royals survived a fourth-quarter comeback by Bishop Mac that saw the Celtics erase a 15-point deficit at the end of the third quarter in just over four minutes.
“I maybe should’ve called a time out a bit quicker, but I thought these guys are really mature about things and I felt like they could handle it and work through it and they did,” Ross coach Amy Smith said. “They persevered and handled that, I think it ended up being a 15-0 run, really well.”
First basket of the eight-minute quarter for the Royals came on a free throw with three minutes to play.
The score was tied with 1:50 to go, but Ross netted the final seven points of the game for the championship win.
Ross had led 18-14 at the end of the first quarter, 30-21 at halftime and 44-29 at the end of the third quarter.
Bishop Mac had finished first as they’d won all 14 of their regular-season games and then took two one-sided victories in their previous playoff outings, winning by 43 points in the quarter-finals and 50 in the semifinals.
Ross had finished second at the end of the regular season at 11-3.
Rachael Van Milligan led the Royals with 15 points while Alex Blashuk had 12, Sierra Monk 11, Maria Canora, Marium Hailu and Claire Smiley four apiece and Isabelle Gusba three.
Cassidy Myslik had a game-high 16 points for Bishop Mac while Maeve Bedard netted 11, Sophia Anstett had eight and Vera Sewell and Julianna Hamilton collected six apiece.
Both teams had to get over the jitters that came with both playing in a league final and playing that pressure-packed game at the university facility.
“We talked about it,” Smith said. “I got them here a bit earlier to just shoot around. That’s really all you can do. It showed in the first quarter on both teams.”
Win or lose, Smith was prepared to talk to her team after the match as the game didn’t end the season for either team as both advance to CWOSSA championship tournaments, Ross to the AAA tournament in Guelph Friday and Saturday and Bishop Mac to the AA tournament in Cambridge the same two days.
“I had my winning speech and I had my losing speech and part of my losing speech was that I don’t think this is the last time they’ll be playing in a District 10 final,” Smith said. “The Grade 10s moving on to senior will make it a strong senior team as well.”
Pool play in the AAA tournament is to be held at College Heights SS Friday. Ross is to play St. John’s Green Eagles of Brantford at 9 a.m. and the D6/11 top-seed team at 6 p.m. Saturday’s playoff round is to be held at Centennial CVI with semifinals at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and the final at 5 p.m.
Bishop Mac is to play in the AA tournament in Cambridge. Friday’s games are to be played at Glenview Park SS and Saturday’s playoff round is to go at Galt CI.
The Celtics are to play North Park Trojans of Brantford Friday at 9 a.m. They’re to play their second game at 3 p.m. if they win their opener and 4:30 p.m. if they drop their opener. Second-game opponent will be either John Diefenbaker Trojans of Hanover or Glenview Park Panthers of Cambridge.
Saturday’s playoff round has semifinal games slated for 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. and the final at 6 p.m.
- Guelph Sports Journal