The Gloucester-Cumberland Basketball Association celebrated the 25th edition of the Mike O’Connor Girls Tournament earlier this month by winning one gold and three bronze medals.
The lone gold medal was won by the U17 Wolverines team, coached by Hans Schryburt. The bronze medals were taken home by the U15, U14 and U13 teams. The U10 and U12 teams made it to the bronze medal game, but ultimately lost.
What made the gold medal win by the U17 team so remarkable is that it came in the U19 Division.
The U17 Wolverines started out the tournament with a 61-42 win over the U17 West Island Lakers. They followed that up with a 66-48 win over a U19 team from Newmarket.
The Wolverines’ third round robin win came against the U19 North Toronto Huskies which put them at the top of their pool.
Once in the semi-finals the Wolverines made short work of the U17 Kitchener-Waterloo Phoenix, easily winning the game by 16 points.
In the other semi-final, the U19 Ottawa Next Level (ONL) team beat the Huskies 56-43 to set up the gold medal showdown.
In the final, ONL jumped out to a 17-6 lead by the end of the first quarter before the Wolverines started to claw their way back.
By the midway point of the second quarter the Wolverines had narrowed the deficit to just two points thanks to the free throw shooting of centre Dayna Holbein and a pair of three-point baskets by Makella Desjardins.
By the end of the first half the Wolverines had taken a three-point lead. After the halftime break, they continued to pour it on, outscoring ONL 19-8 in the third quarter to take a 49-35 lead into the final stanza. They managed to maintain a 14-point advantage the rest of the way before coasting to a 61-46 win and the gold medal.
In the U14 bronze medal game, the Wolverines jumped out to a 22-4 first quarter lead before their shooting inexplicably went ice cold, allowing the U14 Nobel Elite team from Laval to slowly come back.
The Wolverines scored just two points from the midway point of the first quarter to the end of the first half, while Nobel was able to respond with 12 points, narrowing the deficit to 24-16.
Nobel continued to chip away at the Wolverines’ lead in the third quarter and eventually moved in front 26-24 before the home team finally broke their scoring drought and regained the advantage 27-26.
The fourth quarter was a frenetic back and fourth affair. With neither team able to create any distance from the other, the first half ended with the two teams tied at 37 points each.
The four minute overtime period was equally frenetic, but it was the Wolverines who eventually emerged the winners, scor-ing all four of their points from the free throw line to eek out a 41-40.
The Wolverines top scorers were Leila Batista with 11 points an Grace Pongang with 10 points.
In the other bronze medal games, the Wolverines beat the Nobel Elite 48-37 in the U15 Diivision and the U13 team beat their Ottawa Next Level counterparts 43-29 in the U14 Division 2 bronze medal game.