River­hawks up­set Wolves in cham­pi­onship

The Sun Times (Owen Sound) - - SPORTS - GREG COWAN SUN TIMES STAFF

Months of per­fec­tion lost in thirty-eight min­utes.

Sports can be both cruel and joy­ous de­pend­ing on al­le­giances and ex­pec­ta­tions.

The Walk­er­ton Dis­trict River­hawks threw a wrench into the Owen Sound Dis­trict Wolves plans of an un­de­feated sea­son en route to a cham­pi­onship with a 45-42 come­from-be­hind win in their home gym on Fri­day af­ter­noon.

De­spite fin­ish­ing as the Blue­wa­ter Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion’s South Divi­sion leader the River hawks were un­doubt­edly the un­der­dogs headed into Fri­day’s cham­pi­onship.

No fault of their own, the Wolves have just had been that good. A spot­less 8-0 record ac­com­pa­nied Owen Sound to Walk­er­ton on Fri­day.

The pack looked the part early. Owen Sound jumped out to a 16-5 lead af­ter the first quar­ter thanks to seven points from cen­tre Tia Ques­nel and six points added by guard Avory Kon­rad Dol­son.

The Wolves held off a River­hawks run in the sec­ond quar­ter that chipped into their lead to take a 26-18 ad­van­tage into half-time.

Per­haps the writ­ing was on the wall.

Alex Oestricher heated up for seven of the River­hawks 13 points in the sec­ond frame. She joined Sarah Piebel who notched six points in the half.

Worse news for the Wolves was the fact the nu­cleus of their team, Ques­nel, was in foul trou­ble. She walked off the court at half-time with four in­frac­tions - one away from per­ma­nent ban­ish­ment to the bench.

The script was setup for a come­back and the River­hawks obliged. Oestricher dropped six points in the third quar­ter by driv­ing the lane with reck­less aban­don.

Some of her shots looked like prayers, but they fell through time and time again - how did that go in? Doesn’t mat­ter. She gave the River­hawks their first lead of the game.

With Walk­er­ton mak­ing their big­gest run of the con­test Jor­dan Wells nailed a three-point shot to send the home­town crowd into hys­ter­ics.

It sounded like a cramped kitchen dur­ing Christ­mas din­ner prep as the River­hawks fans smug­gled in pots and pans to clang and bang in sup­port of their squad.

The ‘Hawks de­fence held the Wolves to a stag­ger­ing three points in the third quar­ter, and en­tered the fourth with a 36-29 lead.

Ques­nel picked up her fifth foul, and the league’s best player was forced to watch the rest of the game from the side­lines.

The Wolves looked frus­trated and spent, but they also proved too good of a team to go away qui­etly. Play­ing their sec­ond game of the day Owen Sound mounted a come­back of their own.

Led by Jill Ly­man the Wolves clawed back. The point guard had five points in the frame aided by back-to-back buck­ets from Kon­rad Dol­son.

Owen Sound got within one shot of a tie game when they reached the bonus - With five team fouls racked up ev­ery whis­tle re­sulted in free throws for the River­hawks re­gard­less of the play.

Oestricher nailed three of her five free shots and sealed the game with a late layup.

De­spite foul­ing out in the third quar­ter Ques­nel led all Wolves scor­ers with four­teen points.

Ac­cord­ing to BAA records the 2018 River­hawks are the school’s first se­nior girls bas­ket­ball cham­pion since at least prior to the 199899 sea­son when the on­line database be­gins.

In the ju­nior girls bracket the Kin­car­dine Knights de­feated the St. Mary’s Mus­tangs 24-23 to win their first ju­nior cham­pi­onship since 2015-16.

The Wolves met the Grey High­lands Li­ons (5-3) in the semi­fi­nal on Fri­day and beat the pride by a score of 47-25.

Cen­tre Tia Ques­nel led all scor­ers with 14 points for the Wolves while sharp­shoot­ing Hai­ley Muzzell added 11 off the bench for Owen Sound.

Sianda Bikker’s 11 points led all Li­ons scor­ers.

Owen Sound got off to a quick start. Mae Macneil scored sec­onds af­ter the open­ing tip as she snuck be­hind the Li­ons de­fence for an un­con­tested lay-up.

Owen Sound moved the ball well on of­fence lead­ing to open looks and clear­ing out space for Ques­nel in the lane.

By the end of the open­ing frame the Wolves had chipped out a 15-6 lead.

In the sec­ond quar­ter Muzzell en­tered the game and hit the first of three dag­gers from be­hind the arc.

De­spite the Wolves of­fen­sive on­slaught the Li­ons be­gan to have some suc­cess with points off the glass. At the end of the half Nicole Matyka and Bikker scored on put­back op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Owen Sound led 24-10 at the half.

The Wolves got into foul trou­ble in the third quar­ter as the Li­ons drove the lane re­lent­lessly. With Owen Sound in the bonus penalty early Grey High­lands went to the stripe for 11 free shots in the quar­ter and con­verted on six of those op­por­tu­ni­ties.

De­spite the trou­ble Ques­nel acted as a con­stant safety valve for Owen Sound. When the of­fence stag­nated the Wolves knew they could kick it in­side for a good look at the hoop. She was held off the board in the third, but sank six of her 14 in the fourth quar­ter as Owen Sound pulled away.

Jill Ly­man added six points in the game for Owen Sound in­clud­ing a first quar­ter three. Mac­niel, Lau­ren Rad­bourne, Macken­zee Pantry, and Avory Kon­rad Dol­son each scored four.

Jo­clyn Fraser’s nose for the bas­ket helped her sink five free-throws in the fi­nal two quar­ters of the game for the Li­ons.

The Wolves will now head to the CWOSSA ‘AAA’ se­nior girls bas­ket­ball cham­pi­onship in Kitch­ener. The two-day tour­na­ment starts on Nov. 16.

Grey High­lands and St. Mary’s will rep­re­sent the BAA at the CWOSSA ‘AA’ se­nior girls b-ball cham­pi­onship in Water­loo and Cam­bridge, Nov. 16 is the first day of games for that two-day tour­na­ment.

The Kin­car­dine Knights will host the CWOSSA ‘A’ se­nior girls bas­ket­ball tour­na­ment with Walk­er­ton as the BAA rep­re­sen­ta­tive. The one­day tour­na­ment hap­pens on Nov. 16.

PHO­TOS BY GREG COWAN/THE SUN TIMES Alex Oestricher takes off for two of her 18 points as the Walk­er­ton Dis­trict River­hawks handed the Owen Sound Dis­trict Wolves their first loss of the sea­son, 45-42, in the Blue­wa­ter Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion se­nior girls bask

Nicole Matka rises up for a layup as the Owen Sound Dis­trict Wolves de­feated the Grey High­lands Li­ons 47-25 in the Blue­wa­ter Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion se­nior girls bas­ket­ball semi­fi­nal Fri­day af­ter­noon at Walk­er­ton Dis­trict Com­mu­nity School.

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