Banner year for Galt Hoopsters
The members of Galt’s stellar senior basketball team are (Front L to R.): Myriam Elkas, Hannah Hornibrook, Charlene Graham, Glen Faucher, Sarah Poudrier, Claudia “Magic” Gagnon, Marissa Genier and (Back l. to r.): Vanessa Stevens, Lindsay Moore, Rosalie Wubbolts, Ashley Wright, Jacki Lumley, Sabrina Messier-Dorey, Cortney Burnham and Haley Pinkston.
Galt’ssenior girls basketball team has just finished up a remarkable season. They won the Eastern Townships Interscholastic Athletic Conference (ETIAC) regular season (8 wins, 0 losses) and the ETIAC playoffs. “We had tough battles against Stanstead in the semi-final and BCS in the final (both games were on the same day) but came out on top due to an excellent defense performance in both games,” commented coach Glen Faucher. Next, the team won the MacLeod Provincial Tournament for only the third time in school history (43 years); the former wins were in 1974 and 1990. Galt beat BCS in the quarter final 41-28, the host Howard S. Billings Blazers 54-47 in the semi-final, and beat the Quebec High School Blazers 63-59 in an epic come-from-behind battle. The team was behind Quebec by 7 points at halftime. QHS increased their lead by 12 points midway through the 3rd quarter. Enter March Magic. “Over the next four minutes we went on an unbelievable 20-4 run to take the lead. My point guard, Claudia Gagnon, scored 15 of those 18 points by hitting five-straight 3-point bombs. Five 3-pointers in a row! The crowd was going crazy and the gym was a madhouse. The best part? Claudia’s father and her 80-year-old grandmother, two loved ones she rarely gets to see because they live in Montreal, were both there watching her shine. After the game, Claudia’s grandmother told her that, because it wasn’t looking so good in the third quarter, she said a prayer! I was so proud of her; Claudia’s a player with a heart of gold and she deserved the shining moment,” said Mr. Faucher.
In the RSEQ league, the biggest highlight of the season came on March 14th when Galt hosted College Sacre Coeur in the final regu-
lar season game. The last time the teams met was on January 17th at CSC and Galt lost by 26 points. “It was our worst loss of the year. This time, on March 14th, we won by 21...an incredible feat! I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a bigger change in score against the same team in back-to-back games,” said the coach. “We finished the season in fourth place in the regular season of the 6-team RSEQ regional league. We lost 74-55 to the Tandem/Boisé Vicas of Victoriaville in the semi-final. They averaged 24 points against all year and no team scored more than 39 points on them all year...we scored 55!...a moral victory! We then upset the #3 College Sacre Coeur team 61-48 to earn the bronze medal.”
The teams two captains, Sarah Poudrier and Charlene Graham, led the team in scoring and rebounds and will both play for the Champlain Cougars next year.
The proud coach continued: “This year was truly special. I think this year was so incredible because it wasn’t perfect. We had a few obstacles to overcome...and we did.
“It’s easy to win with the best team. It’s easy to win when everyone gets along. It’s easy to win when you have loads of talent. I’ve won like that before. But this year was different. We had a very young team (only two players in Level 5). The girls had a new coach (that’s never easy) and I had a new team (that’s never easy either). We had a tough time getting started (some in-fighting, people not getting along early in the season, etc), which we took care of in the second week of the season with a 45-minute meeting (speech) about life. I remember saying, “Any struggles we go through this year will only make our successes feel that much greater.” In hindsight that low was perhaps the moment that helped make us champions at the end of the season. It was where we started on the right path. I give the girls all the credit. They turned it around right away. They forgot about their own wants and needs and bought totally into the concept of “team”. And we never looked back... “We worked hard, overcame obstacles, tried our best mentally and physically, spent lots of time together off the court (pancake team breakfasts and team meals at my house with my family, cheering on the Champlain Cougars basketball teams together, and team meals at restaurants). We developed a strong team chemistry, developed our individual skills, developed our team play, developed an identity (tough defense and tough overall) and ended up with an amazing season and a lifetime of memories. “I am so proud of my team. They’re a great group of kids. Wins and losses are important but they’re only a small part of our success this year. I tried my best to teach them a lot about basketball and a little bit about life and they taught me just as much or more.”