By Larry Moko
Although the Bishop Ryan Celtics played only six games during an abbreviated league schedule, coach Kevin Daly still looks back on it as a ‘rewarding’ season.
His Celtics won all six of those starts plus another in the semifinal round against Cathedral before Thursday’s 50-19 victory over the St. Thomas More Knights in the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic novice girls’ basketball championship game.
It was the third-consecutive league title for BR at the novice high school level.
“It was a very rewarding year,” Daly said. “We did not lose a game at our age. The Cathedral junior girls beat us, but when we played them (in an exhibition) we were trying to challenge ourselves to get better.”
The Celtics held quarter leads of 9-6, 19-9 and 36-15 against second-place More.
Sam Valente pumped in 16 points for Bishop Ryan while her teammate, Gabby Genovese, contributed 12.
Tiffany Williams led More with six points.
“Our kids play good hard defence,” Daly said. “Ultimately, we can wear teams down. We’re very deep. A lot of our players have played before and they defend really well.”
More grabbed the lead to stay at 7-4 mid way through the first quarter when Valente aggressively drove the baseline and made it a three-point play when fouled.
“It was well deserved,” Valente said of the Knights’ victory. “Our defence was strong and so was our rebounding.”
Daly credited Valente – a member of the U15 Flamborough Fire rep team — for providing an offensive spark in the first half when the Celtics were struggling to score.
“Sam is a great player,” he said. “She’s a big, strong girl who can drive to the net, pass and shoot.”
The rest of the BR lineup was comprised of Elisha Elliot, Klaudia Tomaszewski, Maya Cosby, Mac Dhillon, Batol Salha, Hannah Thurston, Aleen Allwood-Bennett and Julia Lagges.
The Knights were 4-2 during the regular schedule before defeating the Bishop Tonnos Titans, 41-18, in a semifinal.
Source: Marnie Jadon