Williamstown’s Char-Lan District High School is celebrating its junior girls basketball team, which is the 2019 SD&G playoff champion.
The Crusaders captured the crown on their home hardwood at the H. Taylor Coombs Gymnasium on November 7 with a 42-36 win over the Holy Trinity Falcons. Maggie Hope scored 14 points to lead Char-Lan to the win, Frances McDonell had 7, and Paula Martinez, an exchange student from Spain, added 6. In all, nine Crusaders contributed points.
Earlier in the day, the team prevailed in semifinal action over North Dundas 35-17, led by Lilah Mines (14 points) and McDonell (5). The Falcons dispatched Glengarry DHS in the other semifinal.
Char-Lan coach Jim Fourney tells me that the league success achieved by this young group of Crusaders has actually taken some years to develop. In fact, most of the girls have actually been with him a number of years, under his tutelage as Grade 7/8 athletes in his winter program. The 13 who made the high school junior team roster (two young ladies were cut but still commit to attending practices knowing they will be part of the program going forward) began league play back in September dropping exhibition games to Holy Trinity and St. Joseph’s, but then went on to an 8-0 record in regular-season SDGAA action.
Fourney says he had an inkling that he had something special in this group, encouraging the school’s athletic director, Chantal Armstrong, to enter a bid for hosting EOSSAA.
Regarding his players, the coach notes that this team is something different from others he’s had in the past as there isn’t one or two stars. Rather, the individuals are athletic and big, wearing down opponents. Fourney is able to play his entire roster, which features “good balance,” challenging other squads defensively.
These girls, and their coaches, have worked hard to get to where they are, with daily, early morning practices. I am very proud of their accomplishment and am sure this hard work will serve them well at EOSSAA.Chad Brownlee, Char-Lan DHS principal
EOSSAA at Char-Lan on November 13
Char-Lan will host EOSSAA on Wednesday, November 13, with the SD&G champion Crusaders as the fourth seed, playing in pool A. Holy Trinity, the SD&G runners-up, earned a wild-card entry and is seeded sixth, in pool B.
Game one for the host team is set for a 10:30 a.m. tip-off, when the Crusaders will take on top-ranked Perth Collegiate. Char-Lan’s other round-robin match is slated for a 4:30 p.m. start, with fifth-seeded St. Thomas (Russell) providing the opposition.
The Falcons are booked to play at noon, versus second-ranked St. Mary (Brockville), and 3 p.m., against third-seeded Opeongo (Douglas).
Other round-robin games are scheduled for 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
The EOSSAA championship contest, featuring the winner of each pool, is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start.
Spectators are welcome to attend the games and asked to use the parking lot across the road at the arena.