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PECI senior girls earn silver at Trinity invitational

Back: Andrew Wentworth (coach), Emily Bass (manager), Jessica Palacious, Danielle Willis, Alyssa VanRossum, Erin O’Brien, Courtney Wilson, Maggie Dorenberg, Rob Garden (coach); Front: Emily Clark, Hannah Smith, Melissa Paradis, Sam Kuipers, Melissa Corbin. Absent: Ally Davies, Cailey Jones, Brittany Snider.

The PECI Senior Girls Basketball team slam dunked a silver medal at the Trinity College Invitational in Port Hope on weekend.

“The girls felt defeated to come so close to a tournament championship and then watch it slip away, but they should feel proud of the step forward they took, and to do it shorthanded for the entire weekend speaks volumes to the potential if we can get everyone committed full time,” said coach Rob Garden. “We once again held every team that we played to under 40 points. ”

The team gets another shot at Rideau next weekend at the Nicholson tournament. First game set for 6:30 pm Friday night at Nicholson.

“Our focus this week is on offensive skills and confidence,” said Garden. “We simply need more people to score. We play Quinte at home on Tuesday and then the NCC tournament on the weekend.”

Game 1 vs Ashbury College from Ottawa
We jumped all over Ashbury in the first 4 minutes of the game and built an 11-point lead. Unfortunately, we struggle with keeping our intensity up when we play with a lead and Ashbury narrowed the deficit to 4 points at half. Ashbury increased their pressure in the 3rd quarter, and went on a run and out scored us 14 – 10 in the third quarter to tie the game up.
We stressed to the girls that it was going to be an 8 minute battle, and the team that kept their composure was going to win the game. The score went back and forth and we found ourselves down 1 point with under a minute to go.
In previous games, we have not understood how to execute in late game situations. I called a time out, we talked about the need to be patient, move the ball, and take a high quality shot. We ran our motion offense and Courtney Wilson came free at the top of the arc and she nailed a huge three pointer to put up us by 2. They called a time out and we had a chance to discuss our defensive strategy which was to not allow any penetration and contest all jump shots, and then BOX OUT!
Ashbury came down, took a very tough shot, and Sam Kuipers and Brittany Snider did an excellent job ripping the rebound to seal the win 40 – 38. Courtney Wilson was unstoppable and scored 22 of our 40 points and earned player of the game honours. Erin O’Brien had 8 pts.

Game 2 vs St. Marcellinus from Mississauga
We only had 6 senior players for our semi-final game which is not ideal – we pulled Danielle Willis and Hannah Smith from the junior team to give us an 8 girl roster. St. Marcellinus came with a 15 girl roster, so we knew that we needed to execute a smart game plan and reduce the amount of time that we spent on the defensive end.
We played a 2-3 zone for the entire game, and offensively we tried to extend our offensive sets by passing the ball. The girls executed the plan for 3 quarters and we were tied at 21. At the start of the 4th frame, I told the girls that it was time to jump on the gas pedal and go at them.
We got very aggressive on the defensive end of the court and pushed the ball up court and attacked the basket. The Lady Spirit were caught totally off guard, and we outscored them 14 – 0 in the final stanza to win the game 35 – 21. Courtney Wilson and Alyssa Van Rossum combined for 24 of our 35 points. With the win, we advanced to our first championship game at a tournament since I have been coaching – a great stride forward, but the girls wanted more. Alyssa Van Rossum earned player of the game honours for her defensive efforts.

Game 3 vs Rideau DHS from Rideau
Luckily, 2 seniors were able to join us for the championship game which meant we were playing with 8 seniors and 2 juniors. Still not ideal, but the girls were ready. Rideau is the defending OFSAA ‘A’ Bronze Medal champions who boast several OBA players on their roster. They played a great 2 – 3 zone, but our girls did a decent job of shifting the zone and getting decent looks. It was a very evenly matched game, and we once again played great defence.
Unfortunately, we shot the ball very poorly going 1/14 from beyond the arc, and 11/40 from the field. We got to the free throw line quite often, but only managed to shoot 4/16 from the line. Sometimes you just have one of those games where shots don’t fall, and there is nothing you can do about it – we missed at least 5 blatantly wide open layups off of turnovers we caused with our defence!
Final score was 39 – 27. Sam Kuipers earned player of the game honours for shutting down their best player in the second half and not letting her score a single basket.

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