By Larry Moko
Two teams representing the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association are undefeated in three games after Day 1 of the OFSAA girls’ high school basketball championships.
In Mississauga, the top-seeded St. Thomas More Knights won twice Thursday to advance to Friday morning’s quarter-final round of the 16-team AAA tournament against London’s eighth-seeded Catholic Central Crusaders.
More opened play with a 71-28 decision over the 11-seeded Brantford St. John’s Eagles and then topped the No. 16 Sacred Heart Crusaders of Newmarket, 55-27.
“The keys to today’s wins were mental focus and tough defence,” More coach Tania DiCampli said.
“Holding both teams to under 30 points says a lot about our resilient play on defence. We executed well on our zone press forcing lots of turnovers and we dominated the boards on both defence and offence.”
Alisha Doornick and Julia Chiarot were the respective game-high scorers for More, tossing in 15 points apiece.
“The girls are very determined and focused on achieving a winning weekend,” the More coach said. “And our defence today is a great start to that. Hopefully we can continue with that mind set going forward.”
If the Knights defeat the 23-4 Catholic Central squad, they would play a semifinal Friday night at 6 p.m. at St. Francis Xavier Secondary School. Teams reaching the gold-medal game play Saturday at 4 p.m. at Xavier.
In Kingsville, the HWCAA’s St. Mary Crusaders also got off on the right foot at the provincial 20-team AA tournament. Seeded fifth, St. Mary defeated Sault Ste. Marie’s Superior Heights Steelhawks, 45-42.
“The girls got their first-OFSAA-game jitters out, but we came away with a win so that’s what matters,” St. Mary coach Ashley Randall said.
“Myra Ciccarelli (11 points) was definitely our team spark today. She defended both on ball and off ball with intensity. She also scored for us at key points in the game.”
Other top scorers for the Crusaders against the 15th seeds were Emma Weber (14) and Ryana Ciccarelli (13).
St. Mary’s next action is Friday morning against Guelph’s 12th-seeded St. James Lions at Kingsville District High School. Quarter-finals are Friday evening with semifinal and championship games scheduled for Saturday.
St. Mary won a bronze medal at OFSAA last year.
Source: Marnie Jadon