The u14’s agreed on one goal….to win the final game of the season regardless of where they placed… and that is exactly what they did.
Niagara Falls was the final stop in the Spirits u14’s girls season as they attended the Ontario Cup finals this past weekend. All of their effort, dedication, teamwork and growth were on display in four action packed and exciting games that saw their families and fans cheering them on every step of the way.
The team went 3-0 in pool play, including a highly anticipated game versus the Kingston Impact team on Saturday morning, who had beat them twice before during the season.
It was a defensive battle at halftime, with a low score of 11-9 for Impact.
The girls dug deep in the second half, handling the constant full court pressure and scoring an incredible 32 points, leading to a 41-30 victory and more importantly, a spot in the gold medal game on Sunday versus a very talented Flamborough Fire team.
Battling another full court defense, it did not look promising early on for the girls, trailing 22-13 at half.
Showing a never quit attitude and the incredible support coming from team-mates and families backing them up, the girls made one final push in the 3rd quarter, outscoring Flamborough 20 – 8 and hanging on to win the gold medal game with a score of 38-35.
Incredible effort from all involved and an experience that will be remembered for a long time.
Thanks to everyone involved in making it a great season!
– Coach McGrath
The U12 Belleville Spirits girls competed in their Ontario Cup this past weekend in Ottawa, playing in Division 1, (just below OBLX).
With 6 returning players, and 6 new players, we were somehow placed in Pool A (just below OBLX) in the OBL league. With some trepidation we didn’t challenge the placement and decided to do our best.
The girls not only proved that they could compete at this level, they remained there even after the re-ranking. This led to a final ranking of 13th in the province of 48 teams, and 5th seed in Division 1 for the Ontario Cup.
Mississauga (the eventual Gold Medal winners who started out in OBLX) defeated us 50 to 29 in the 1st game. It was close in the 1st half, only down 25 to 20 but ran into some foul trouble, losing one of our top players and struggled a bit on defense afterwards. I do not have any individual stats.
Player of the Game: Abby Whitten for her defense and pitching in with a nice basket!
In a must win game we defeated Peterborough (a team we lost to 3 times in the regular season and ranked just above us).
Game MVPs: Callie Lyall led the team with 13 points, Shelby Brant with 5 and Kyrah Currin with 3.
In another must win game for us to get into a medal game, we defeated Thornhill 34 to 28 (who had earlier defeated Mississauga). Shelby led the team with 13 points and was outstanding offensively; Callie with 7 and Kyrah with 5.
Co-Players of the game: Shelby (offensively), Callie (for a strong 2-way game) and Kyrah for outstanding defense.
With a 2 and 1 record we tied with Mississauga for 1st but lost out on the tie-breaker. So we moved on to the Bronze Medal game.
In the Bronze Medal game we started out really flat and were down 25-5 early in the 2nd half.
After a ‘fiery’ half time ‘motivational’ speech (more fire than motivation if I’m to be honest 🙂) we competed hard in the rest of the 2nd half eventually losing 37 to 28. We ended up outscoring them 23-12 in the final 3 shifts.
Myla Empey led the team with 10 points, Kyrah with 6, Shelby with 4 and Callie with 3.
Co-players of the game: Mila Kalyaev (our Grade 4 girl) scored 1 of her 2 tournament baskets this game) and Myla Empey for dominating at both ends of the court.
When the realization kicked that this was our last official game of the year, some tears were shed (I hid mine until I got back to the car).
Rest of the team included:
Liberty Bergen, Raya Holoway, Nora Gabourie, Audrina Carty, Zoe Hall and Avery Hayes who contributed to our success this weekend.
I’m so proud of all these girls and I want to thank all of them for the fun times we had, for competing hard every game and thanks to the parents for all their support (although they kept me up way to long on Saturday night), Stacy Lyall, Mellissa Gabourie and Ashley Empey for all the work they did with communication, logistics, hotel arrangements etc.
Huge thanks to coach Darryl Drain for all he did for the team this year and coaching the 6 returning players last year and Gary Lyall for helping.
Visit this teams page here
For info on next seasons tryouts, click here