Canes rebound to claim C division at tournament
HUNTSVILLE - The Huntsville Hurricanes junior girls basketball team attended a highly competitive tournament in Hamilton hosted by the Blessed Sacrament Yellow Jackets.
The Hurricanes are presently ranked 27th in the Ontario Basketball Association’s junior division.
In their opening game the Hurricanes’ opponents were the ninth-ranked Dundas Dynamo, who ended up winning the tournament. The Hurricanes started very poorly as they were down 17-8 at the end of the first quarter. The tide turned for the Hurricanes in the second quarter because of some hot shooting and tough defence, and they ended the half up one at 23-22.
The battle continued in the third quarter with the Hurricanes up 30-28. In the fourth quarter the Hurricanes were unable to continue their momentum as they were outscored 13-4 and ultimately lost 41-34.
The Hurricanes leading scorers were Taylor McAlpine with nine points and Christi Park with eight. Michelle Murat had five points and Maggie Atkins added four to help the Hurricanes’ cause. Other scorers were Brooke Walker with three, Keeley Wettlaufer with two, and Sam Snowden and Erin Connell with one apiece.
The 18th-ranked Caledon Cougars were the Hurricanes’ second opponents. At the end of the first half the Hurricanes held a 25-18 lead as their defence held the Cougars to two points in the second quarter. At this point the tide turned in favour of the Cougars as their hot shooting overcame the Hurricanes defence and they took a 37-32 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Cougars continued to increase their lead early in the fourth quarter, but the Hurricanes refused to quit as they fought back late in the game to cut the margin to three. At that point the Cougars hit a three, which sealed the Hurricanes’ fate as they lost 50-40 in their second hard-fought losing effort. The Hurricanes’ leading scorers were Park with 10 and Emma Fehr and Wettlaufer with seven each.
In their next game the 35th-ranked Ottawa Capital Xelles were the Hurricanes’ competition. In this game the Hurricanes got off to a hot start, leading 29-16 at the half and although the Xelles continued to battle they could not overcome the Hurricanes’ great start and the Hurricanes won 48-37.
Park led the Hurricanes in scoring with 15 while Murat hit four three pointers and scored 13. Other scorers were Wettlaufer with seven, McAlpine with six, Atkins with five, and Walker with two.
The two earlier close losses in pool play designated the Hurricanes to the weakest draw for Sunday’s play based on point spread. Their opponents were the 25th ranked Gloucester Wolverines.
The Hurricanes again got off to a solid start as they held a 14-9 lead at the end of the first quarter and a 28-22 lead at the half. The Wolverines cut the margin to five at 41-36 in the third quarter, but the Hurricanes turned the momentum in the fourth quarter and won 56-48.
McAlpine and Murat led the Hurricanes with 17 points each while Park added seven. Other contributors were Fehr with six points, Connell and Atkins with four each and Snowden with two.
Their win against the Wolverines earned the Hurricanes the right to play in the C draw championship game against a team they had defeated earlier, the Ottawa Capital Xelles.
This game against the Xelles would prove to be more intense than the first game as the score was tied at 10 at the end of the first quarter and the Hurricanes trailed 20-19 at the half.
The Hurricanes had a strong third quarter and took a slim four-point lead into the fourth. The fourth quarter turned into a shootout as both teams got hot matching each other basket-for-basket with 30 points being scored by the two teams. In the end the Hurricanes prevailed with a well-deserved 45-39 win.
The Hurricanes scoring in this game was well spread as Park had 10, Fehr had eight, Murat, McAlpine and Walker had seven apiece. Atkins had four and Connell had two on a clutch shot late in the game.
The Hurricanes will be hosting a round robin with the Sudbury Jam and the Collingwood Trailblazers on April 29 as they prepare for the provincial championships on May 4 to 6 in Kitchener-Waterloo.