Saints prove too much to handle
Win over Vikings sends SWOSSAA champions to OFSAA final
The St. Anne Saints played a game with which the Sarnia Northern Vikings weren’t familiar Friday.
What had been anticipated to be a nail-biter, instead turned out to be stunning demolition of the fifth-ranked Vikings Friday.
Anna Mullins led the way with 28 points.
The Saints rolled to a 56-45 victory that wasn’t nearly as close as the final score indicated in the SWOSSAA AAAA senior girls’ basketball final.
Sixth-ranked St. Anne now qualifies for the OFSAA championships in Hamilton beginning next Thursday.
“I’ve been thinking about this being my last game at St. Anne’s for a couple weeks,” Mullins said. “I didn’t want it to end on a bad note.”
Mullins did her part by averaging more than a point a minute in the opening 16 minutes.
Combining a subtle touch from outside with a banger’s mentality in the paint that would’ve made Tomas Holmstrom proud, Mullins proved a matchup nightmare for Sarnia.
Mullins finished the half with 18 points as the Saints led 30-19 at the break.
“They were all hitting shots,” Vikings coach John Thrasher said. “They got the shots they wanted.
“We missed four breakaway laps in the first half. Then (Mullins) went off.
“We got back in it, but we never really threatened.”
Mullins credited the Saints with remembering their history for burying the Vikings in the third quarter.
A year ago in this same game between the two schools in Sarnia, the Saints rallied from a 14-point deficit to win.
“There was no way we were going to let that happen to us,” Mullins said.
The Vikings tried to neutralize Mullins the second half, but that left them vulnerable in other areas.
Andrea Kiss took advantage by scoring 10 of her 14 points in the third quarter, but more importantly she was dishing out the assists and playing ferocious defence.
In fact, it was the Saints’ defence that knocked the Vikings thoroughly off their game.
Not one Viking was able to reach double digits in scoring.
“Once we got them down a bit, they panicked,” Kiss said.
“They’re a quick team, but they’re slim. We’re broader and stronger and we controlled inside.”
The Saints were able to muscle their way through screens and left very few openings for the visitors in building a 47-29 lead after three quarters.
When they did a get a good look at the basket, the Vikings rushed their shots fearing their space was about to evaporate in the windmill of flailing hands and banging bodies.
“We were really well prepared to defend them,” Kiss said.
“We switched off well to take away their speed.”
The Vikings made one final push to get to within 53-42 with 4:30 left, but the Saints’ defence held Sarnia scoreless for the next three minutes while milking the clock offensively.