Lakeshore Gators send Port High Blue Bears into early hibernation at Tribune Tournament
Port Colborne’s West Side Story in girls high school basketball didn’t have a happy ending for host Port High.
Instead of Good Looks and the Blue Bears, Port High became the earliest casualty at the 14th Tribune Girls Basketball Tournament, dropping a 44-26 decision to their crosstown rivals from the city’s east side, the Lakeshore Catholic Gators.
Players from both teams carried the pressure of different expectations onto the court with them for Thursday’s consolation quarter-final.
Port High, playing in front of a capacity crowd that was overwhelmingly made up of friends, schoolmates and family and being serenaded by the high school’s drum band, wanted to reward that support by excelling on their home court.
Lakeshore, with a much larger student body from which to draw players, needed to live up to its billing as a triple A team that would not lose to a single A rival in a must-win game.
Maddi Wilcox, who topped the Gators in scoring with 11 points and was named her team’s player of the game, said Lakeshore has been “up and down” so far this season.
“We have our good games, we have our bad games,” the Grade 12 student said. “Today was a good game.”
She said there’s always something special whenever Port Colborne’s two high schools play each other.
“But that’s the nature of basketball, what are you going to do about it?” he said. “It’s not a mechanical thing to correct, it’s not a strategy to correct, it’s just the shots not going in.”
Aggressive defence on Lakeshore’s part contributed to Port High’s low success rate draining shots from close range and from beyond the three-point arc.
“I think the Lakeshore defence did a good job in rushing us.”
Lakeshore will play the Governor Simcoe Redcoats in a 3:30 p.m. semifinal at Welland Centennial with a berth in Saturday night’s B final on the line.
Simcoe defeated the Ridley College Tigers 36-32 while the other semifinal pits the Grimsby Eagles against the Saint Michael Mustangs.
Grimsby defeated the E.L. Crossley Cyclone and Saint Michael eliminated the Saint Paul Patriots 48-29.
Bulldogs 49, Cougars 36
The Sir Winston Church Bulldogs are among four teams that are undefeated heading into the third round of the 14th Tribune Girls Basketball Tournament in south Niagara.
However, as far as party poopers go, they are the undisputed No. 1.
A day after defeating the E.L. Crossley Cyclone on their home court, the Bulldogs did the same thing at Welland Centennial against the host Cougars.
Kaley DeMont scored a teamhigh 14 points, all but two from beyond the three-point arc, Ally Sentance 10 and Olivia Kreiger nine to send Centennial to the sidelines and Churchill to the championship semifinals.
The Zone 4 Bulldogs don’t play the Zone 3 Cougars during the regular season, but Centennial wasn’t an unknown quantity to Churchill.
“We knew that they can shoot and they drive a lot because they are bigger than us,” DeMont said. “As soon as started driving, we knew we had to shut down their bigs and box out.”
She said Centennial’s aggressive defence forced the Bulldogs to adjust their game plan.
“We had to pass more and just move the ball around.”
Head coach Phil Mosley said while the Cougars would have liked to go, they nonetheless accomplished a lot by advancing on the championship of the bracket.
“We feel like winning our first game puts us in with the upper echelon of the tournament,” he said. “That’s where we belong, but we just lost to a team that’s very strong.
“We knew they were tough coming in.”
Catherine Maltais and Destiny Paquin led Centennial in scoring with 16 and 13 points, respectively.
Flyers 58, Marauders 50
Recent history won’t be repeating itself at the 14th edition of the Tribune Girls Basketball Tournament. Unlike last year, when the Jean Vanier Lynx swept both the Tribune and the Standard Tournament in St. Catharines, there won’t be a double winner this time out.
The Eden Flyers made sure of that when they upset the secondseeded A.N. Myer Marauders in championship quarter-final action Thursday night at Welland Centennial.
Jeniah Wiens, with 16 points; Rachel Frena, 14; Mady Weinert, 11; and Beth deBoer, nine; led a balanced Eden attack on offence.
Julia Colavecchia and Tori RigasDiDomenico paced Standard Tournament gold medallist Myer with 21 and 20 points, respectively.
Thursday’s late championship quarter-final had the top-seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish playing the Denis Morris Reds, and the Vanier taking on the Greater Fort Erie Gryphons.
We have our good games, we have our bad games. Today was a good game.” Maddi Wilcox
Alexandra Klauck of the Lakeshore Gators beats Allyce Andrews of the Port Colborne Bears to the rebound during the Tribune Girls Basketball Tournament at Port Colborne High School on Thursday.
Jacobi Oskam of the Port Colborne Bears peeks around Isabella Favero of the Lakeshore Gators during the Tribune Girls Basketball Tournament at Port Colborne High School on Thursday.
Alexandra Klauck of the Lakeshore Gators keeps the ball away from, left, Jordyn Goins and Jacobi Oskam of the Port Colborne Bears during the Tribune Girls Basketball Tournament at Port Colborne High School on Thursday.