Royals drain three-pointers to get to senior final
GUELPH – The Ross Royals burst out of the blocks, thanks largely to their three-point shooting, to put the Guelph CVI Green Gaels too far behind to recover in their District 10 high school senior girls’ basketball semifinal Thursday at GCVI.
The Royals grabbed a 12-point lead in the first quarter on their way to a 53-46 victory and a berth in Saturday’s championship game at the Guelph Gryphons Athletics Centre.
“We shot the lights out in the first half,” Ross coach Jamie Gusba said. “We were up 13 at half because of the three-pointers against the zone. Acadia Tremain played really good shadow defence against our best player, Ailani (Curvan) so then the other players stepped up and nailed their threes. That was really important.”
“I actually didn’t know I could do that,” said Capper who drained five three-pointers from the corner. “I was not in that mindset. I was not going into the game thinking I could just shoot like that. I just took the shot.”
Ross led 20-8 at the end of the first quarter, 30-17 at halftime and 38-30 at the end of the third quarter.
The Royals had finished the regular season in third place at 7-3 while the Gaels were second at 8-2. Centennial Spartans finished first at 9-1 while the Lourdes Crusaders were fourth at 3-7 after winning a tiebreaker with the Bishop Macdonell Celtics who were placed fifth. St. James Lions were sixth at 0-10.
Ailani Curvan led Ross with 24 points while Charlie Capper had 17.
Tremain netted 15 for the Gaels.
While the Royals managed the clock as best they could, they also had to manage their fouls as they only had seven players suited up for the game.
Ross improved throughout the season. They started slowly, splitting their first four games before getting on a bit of a roll and then finishing the regular season with three consecutive wins.
“We improved a lot,” Capper said. “We sort of worked on everything, but shooting mostly.”
“With just seven people, all seven have played a lot of basketball so it’s a really experienced team,” Gusba said. “Tonight, 53 points might have been the best we got all season.”
The Royals played in three tournaments early in the season and that combined with league play helped Ross get better in its defence, communication and shooting.
Of course, the best thing for all the teams was that this season was pretty much a normal season that will last about two months in total.
“It’s awesome. Last year since it wasn’t normal, it wasn’t as fun,” Capper said. “This is really fun.”
The Royals advance to play Centennial in the championship match. Game time at the University of Guelph Saturday is 2 p.m.
“Saturday’s going to be a hard game for sure,” Capper said. “I don’t think we did the best (against Centennial during the regular season), but since we improved a lot I think we have a good chance.”
Centennial 51 Lourdes 40
The Spartans gained their berth in the final with their semifinal victory on their home court.
Kayla Hooper led Centennial with 19 points while Jenna Davey added 10.
Mckenna Codrington and Kayla Schaus each had 10 for Lourdes.
The Spartans swept their two-game regular-season series, winning 41-25 at Ross Sept. 29 and 43-27 at Centennial Oct. 25.
Centennial is the defending D10 champion as they won the delayed final by forfeit last season.
Junior Girls’ Basketball
The Orangeville Bears and Bishop Macdonell Celtics are to meet in Saturday’s final. It’s scheduled for 12 p.m. at the Guelph Gryphons Athletics Centre.
Both posted home victories in Thursday’s semifinals, Orangeville defeating the Centre Wellington Falcons 48-31 and Bishop Mac slipping by the Ross Royals 49-47.
The Bears had finished atop the league standings with a perfect 10-0 record while Bishop Mac was second at 7-3. Ross placed third at 5-5 and Centre Wellington was fourth at 4-6 and the Guelph CVI Green Gaels and Centennial Spartans both had 2-8 records.
The Bears won both regular-season games with the Celtics, taking the season opener 61-27 at Orangeville Sept. 20 and they won 47-28 at Bishop Mac Oct. 13.
Both Orangeville and Bishop Mac will advance to CWOSSA tournaments next week as the Bears will be in the AAA tourney at Centennial Nov. 18 and 19 and the Celtics will be in the AA tournament at Galt Collegiate Institute in Cambridge the same two days.
Orangeville 48 Centre Wellington 31
Katie Firth led Orangeville with 18 points.
Willow Green collected 11 for Centre Wellington.
Bishop Macdonell 49 Ross 47
Talya Kridli had a game-high 25 points for Bishop Mac while Sydney Richardson chipped in with 12.
Sam Tesfit netted 18 for Ross while Leah Van Milligen contributed 12.
- Guelph Sports Journal