Last week, the SD&G champion Char-Lan DHS Crusaders hosted EOSSAA junior girls ‘A’ basketball, achieving split results in their round-robin action.
After dropping their opening game 51-20 to Perth, the girls were looking to end their run at the November 13 event on a positive note with a win versus the St. Thomas Ravens, from Russell.
Char-Lan trailed through the first half, behind 27-17 at the break. The Ravens, with a short bench and their key players in foul trouble in the third quarter, saw their lead evaporate though, as the Crusaders clawed back in the second half, taking the lead just before the buzzer to end the third quarter at 34-33.
The home side’s lead was tenuous in the final period, however, hampered by Char-Lan’s struggles from the free-throw line, as St. Thomas continued to rack up the fouls. With 49 seconds left, the Crusaders held a 43-42 lead and possession. Their coaches called a timeout to plot strategy.
Almost immediately, Char-Lan was fouled but went 0/2 from the line. An offensive rebound maintained possession for the Crusaders, forcing the Ravens to foul again. This time one free throw dropped, and once more, Char-Lan got the offensive board. The girls passed the ball around, killing off seconds, until Grace Rouleau got free at the side of the basket for a layup to make it a four-point edge for Char-Lan.
St. Thomas added a late foul shot, as did Char-Lan, to round out the scoring, as the Cruaders prevailed 47-42.
Lilah Mines had 15 points to lead Char-Lan in the game. Her contribution included a pair of three-pointers. Maggie Hope scored 14 points.
In the earlier match, the girls collectively were 9 for 29 from the foul line, while in their second game the Crusaders improved, but still shot under 50 per cent.
Coach Jim Fourney, in his 38th year of coaching local basketball, says he is pleased with the season this group of Crusaders had. Aside from their SD&G championship, they completed their league play with a perfect record. They are young, athletic, and strong, and they continue to develop their basketball skills.
To that end, the work continues, starting this week. Tuesday evenings from November through June will see Fourney, along with his coaching pal Bob Blackadder, lead Crusaders in workouts at the high school’s gym. There’s a 90-minute session for girls in Grade 7 and 8, followed by a separate 90-minute training for those in Grades 9 through 12.
The program formerly called the Plain White Tees no longer has a moniker beyond Char-Lan Basketball. In addition to weekly workouts, there are tournament and exhibition games planned.
To read about Char-Lan’s SD&G league triumph, please see this earlier story.
Holy Trinity at EOSSAA
The Holy Trinity Falcons, as SD&G runners-up, earned a wildcard berth at EOSSAA and were seeded sixth.
They lost their first round-robin game to St. Mary 57-25. Top Falcon scorer was Clara Guyarre, with 11 points.
Game two also went into the books as a defeat, as HT fell 57-42 to Opeongo. Guyarre was again the leading point-getter, counting 35.
The top two seeds met in the EOSSAA championship match, with second-ranked St. Mary (Brockville) upsetting Perth 55-45 for gold.