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County Clippers U12 capture silver at Ontario Cup Provincial Championship

The under-12 County Clipper’s girls basketball team had an impressive finish to their rep season this past weekend at Newmarket to participate in the Ontario Cup Provincial Championships.

Their first game was against a familiar team, the Belleville Spirits.

“Our team played strong from the start and earned themselves a 21-16 win to begin their weekend,” said team manager Laurie Spencer.

Saturday morning the Clippers were put up against a skilled St. Thomas team. The two competitors were evenly matched, which kept the crowd on the edge of its seat the entire game. The Clippers persevered and fought hard until the final buzzer went, resulting in their second win of the weekend. Spencer described the victory as “an emotional, action-packed 26-25 win.”

After reviving themselves from the intense game, the team was fired up and ready to go for the second game of the day.

“Pressure was on. All that stood between the Clippers and their spot in the gold medal game was a team from Gloucester. With confidence in their veins and smiles on their faces, they suited up and gave Gloucester everything they had. The Clippers showed extreme determination and skill in yet another very tight game. We came out on top with a 20-16 finish, solidifying their spot in the Ontario Cup final to be played Sunday afternoon.”

After a clean sweep in their pool, the Clippers were ready for their final, and most important game of the season. The competition was a team from Valhalla who had also won all of their games, making for some stiff competition.

“The team put forth incredible effort, but came up short with a 32-17 loss.”

First-time Clippers coach Bill Latchford noted he was incredibly proud and impressed by the basketball played by his U12 girls throughout their entire season.

“Coming out of retirement after 40 years of coaching to teach these enthusiastic girls how to play a game and acquire new friends and skills in the process, has been super rewarding for me,” said Latchford. “My coaching style can be a little ‘in your face,’ but tempered with many kudos when they get it right. These girls never wavered and showed true togetherness, win or lose. Supported by terrific parents, the growth in individual and team dynamics has been phenomenal.”

The Clippers finished out their season with a 10-10 record. From the start, the team’s goal was not just to win, but to expand knowledge, skills and strengths as individuals and as a team.

“They accomplished all these things, then won themselves an Ontario Cup Provincial silver medal to top it off,” said Latchford.

“I need to express my gratitude to assistant coach Phil Bender, and my amazing manager Laurie Spencer for getting an ‘old rookie’ back on track as needed. It was a great season that culminated with an Ontario Basketball Championship silver medal. Go Clippers!”

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  1. Scott. Macdonald says:

    Congratulations to all the players and their great adult support network… You make “the county” proud… Looking forward to many more great seasons as you continue to learn the game , have fun, develop your skills and build your friendships!!!

  2. Old Local says:

    Known as Leapin Willie Latchford back in his playing days ! Great to hear your back on the sidelines coach !
    Congrats to you and the Young Ladies , well done Sir .

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