Grizzlies knocked out of provincials

Ian Shantz - Barrie Examiner

OTTAWA - The Grizzlies don't feel great about how it ended.

A 64-51 loss to the Humber Hawks in the quarter-final round of the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association women's basketball championship isn't sitting well - especially when the Georgian squad felt it left something in the tank.

But what hurts more - after riding a 17-6 record into the provincial championship at Algonquin College in Ottawa - is that is has ended.

They're finished - some for good.

"It's not so much the loss, but the fact the season is over," said graduating Grizzlies forward Summer Bly, shortly after her college hoops career came to a close in the nation's capital Thursday night.

It marked the first time in five years the Grizzlies reached the provincial round.

And the Grizzlies were confident coming in.

But when Humber - a team they hadn't faced this season - went on a 13-2 run late in the first half, it proved too much to overcome and Georgian lost its bearings down the stretch.

"We started off fine. We had (good) spurts," said Bly, who finished with 11 points, eight boards and picked up player of the game honours for Georgian. "But we had too many turnovers. We weren't running our plays.

"It's a little disappointing,"?Bly added. "Our goal was to get to (the provincial championship) and we got that, but we wanted to get a medal."

It's been a roller-coaster couple days for Georgian, which is coming off the high of Wednesday's OCAA awards banquet. Bly, one of the team's captains, was named OCAA player of the year, while Marnie Buchanan picked up coach of the year honours, co-captain Dana Marley was named an all-star and Courtney Blum made the all-rookie team.

While Thursday's result won't garner any cheers from the Grizzlies, it's otherwise been a dream season.

"We just didn't get that dessert," Buchanan said. "But I couldn't be more proud of them."

Georgian is set to graduate several of its core players, including captains Bly, Marley and Dana Campbell, and Sarah Williams.

"They're fantastic leaders," the coach said. "It's been a pleasure."

Bly, a former Innisdale Invader who missed all of last season with the Grizzlies due to injury, said she'll leave Georgian with fond memories. And she doesn't plan on saying goodbye to her teammates just because her college career has ended.

"Coming here and playing for your hometown, in front of your friends and family is a great feeling," she said.

"(Our team) gets along so well and we're going to be lifelong friends."

She'll leave with no regrets.

"We met all the goals we set," Bly said. "That's the positive. There's nothing else we can do but smile."

Danielle Horvat and Courtney Blum finished with eight points each, while Marley and Williams has six points each.

Humber's Kaitlynn Paulley led all scorers with 17 points and seven rebounds to help her team advance to today's semifinals.

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