Irish answer wake-up call
Final fours set on both sides of Tribune Tournament bracket
A wake-up call at halftime was just what the Notre Dame Fighting Irish needed to achieve their goal of advancing to championship semifinals at the Tribune Girls Basketball Tournament.
After taking a 12-4 lead into the second quarter, the reigning gold medallists were only up 22-20 on the Greater Fort Erie Gryphons when the buzzer sounded ending the first half.
“We didn’t have a great second quarter, and we needed to come out and like we did at the start of the game,” Mete said.
He said a young team with only three returning players “sort of got comfortable” after jumping out to a double-digit lead on their home court.
“That happens with a team that is still trying to find its way.”
At halftime Mete told his players that Greater Fort Erie was a good team more
than capable of coming back. He wasn’t at all surprised the Gryphons got back into the game so quickly.
“There was no surprise there, I knew they were a good team,” Mete said. “They’re well-coached, they have two or three superstars on that team.”
Notre Dame came into the four-day, 14-day tournament hoping to at least make it to the semifinal round Friday at Niagara College on the A side of the bracket.
A 61-22 victory over the host Jean Vanier Lynx in the qualifying round Wednesday was the first step toward that goal.
“I think our expectations were to get to Friday night on the championship, and we’re going to play Friday night on the championship side.”
“So that’s good, anything can happen once you get to that point.
Mete, who last year coached the junior girls team, said managing expectations — especially for young players competing in must-win games on their home court — can be difficult.
“They’re high school athletes, they want to be successful,” he added. “They want to play hard every play, they want to go to the net, everyone wants to score.
“Ultimately, we kept our cool, we stayed calm and we won the game.”
Jamira Rousseau, Alissa Mete and Emma Angelo led the Irish in scoring with 18, 12 and nine points, respectively. Taylor
Doyle, with 19 points; and Kaitlyn Gregory, nine; were top scorers for Fort Erie.
Notre Dame will play the No. seed Eden Flyers 8 p.m. today while the 6:30 p.m. championship semifinal pits the Standard Tournament champion Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs against the A.N. Myer Marauders.
Eden defeated the Denis Morris Reds 56-34 and Churchill topped the Lakeshore Catholic Gators 69-40 after earning firstround byes as the top seeds.
Madalyn Weinert, Eden; and Lexxus Bell, Denis Morris; each scored 17 points and were named players of the game for their respective teams.
Ally Sentance, with 27; Olivia Krieger, 15; and Kaley DeMont, 13; reached double digits in scoring for Churchill. Lakeshore’s Emma Koabel led all scorers with 28 points in the loss. Keri Lynn Jones added 11 for the Gators.
Myer punched its ticket to the championship semifinals with a 46-40 victory over the E.L. Crossley Cyclone.
Final four on the consolation side has the Saint Michael Mustangs, 57-48 victors over the Port High Blue Bears, and the Saint Paul Patriots, 53-24 victors over the Ridley College Tigers, in the 3:30 p.m. game and the Jean Vanier Lynx facing Denis Morris in the other.
Keira Federinko scored 15 point for Saint Paul. Mikayla Itemuagber led Ridley with 17.
Vanier defeated the Welland Centennial Cougars 47-43 and the Reds qualified as the wild card after winning a lottery that included all of the Day 2 losers on the championship side of the bracket.
Sydney Carter, 19, Julie Manlow, 18, Aliyah Glaze, 14, scored in double digits for the Mustangs. Jacobi Oskam and Maddison Coleman paced the Blue Bears with 14 and 10, respectively.
Visit facebook.com/Girlstribunetournament for more about the tournament.
Eden’s Camryn Bagshaw beats Denis Morris’s Jordyn Britton to a rebound at the Tribune Girls Basketball Tournament Thursday in Welland.