Spartans, Lions in senior hoops showdown Saturday
GUELPH – The Centennial Spartans and St. James Lions are to meet Saturday night at the Guelph Gryphons Athletics Centre to decide this year’s District 10 high school senior girls’ basketball champion.
Both teams posted semifinal victories Thursday as the first-place Spartans defeated the fourth-place Bishop Macdonell Celtics 47-31 and the third-place Lions downed the second-place Orangeville Bears 53-46 at Orangeville.
At Centennial, the Spartans played a solid defence as they held the Celtics to less than 10 points in each quarter.
“Generally, I thought we played good man-to-man defence and we talked and communicated for the most part,” Centennial coach Toffer Trieguts said. “There were still some breakdowns that I wasn’t happy with, but we’ll work on it tomorrow and get ready for the next game.”
The Spartans grabbed the lead in the opening quarter and never let it go. They led 17-6 at the end of the first quarter, 23-14 at halftime and 34-22 at the end of the third quarter.
The Spartans were deadly on three-point shots as they sank nine of them, five by Sarah Cobey who led Centennial with 17 points. Jocelyn Newby had 10 points while Miren Oliver had six and Jessica Zhu and Kayla Hooper each had five.
One of the goals of Centennial’s game plan was to limit the damage done by Bishop Mac’s Alicia Higgins.
“She’s an excellent player, one of the top players in the league by far,” Trieguts said. “She’s very physical and very athletic and we had to make sure we tried to stop their No. 1 option.”
Higgins still did plenty of damage with a game-high 19 points. Alessia Carbone added four and the Celtics drained a single three-pointer.
The Spartans still feel they have things to improve upon in their lone practice before Saturday’s championship match.
“We keep getting better every day,” Trieguts said. “We keep practising and we keep focusing on the things we need to do and the next game is a game we need to be better. Every game we need to be better.”
At Orangeville, the Lions avenged their regular-season losses to the Bears that cost them second place in the standings. St. James and Orangeville finished the regular season with 9-3 records and the two wins over the Lions gave the Bears second place.
Looking ahead to the final Saturday at the Guelph Gryphons Athletics Centre, the Spartans and Lions split their regular-season series. Centennial won the season opener for both teams 52-43 Sept. 17 and the Lions prevailed 54-38 Oct. 9, that loss being the lone setback for the Spartans during league play.
Game time is 8 p.m.
The Guelph CVI Green Gaels and Ross Royals are to meet in the junior final Saturday at the GGAC.
In Thursday’s semifinals, GCVI downed Orangeville 59-24 and Ross dropped Centennial 44-24.
Acadia Tremain collected 12 points for GCVI in its semifinal win while Jordyn Best had 10 and Maddy Boyd netted nine.
Morgan Wilson had nine for Orangeville and Taya Williamson added six.
Ailani Curvan struck for 15 points for Ross as two other players also hit double digits in scoring — Bronwyn Sweeney with 13 and Susannah Morris with 11.
Chiara Marin had eight for Centennial and Josie Morgan contributed seven.
GCVI had finished the regular season with a perfect 12-0 record while Ross was second at 10-2.
The Gaels scored 405 more points than they allowed with the stingiest defence in the league. They yielded a league-low 167 points for an average of just under 14 points per game.
The Royals were the highest-scoring team in the league in the regular season with 577 points, five more than the Gaels. That’s an average of around 48 per game.
GCVI defeated Ross 52-22 in the season opener Sept. 17 and 64-31 Oct. 10.
Game time Saturday is 6 p.m.
- Guelph Sports Journal