Nighthawks win county basketball title
Submitted Orillia Secondary School’s junior girls basketball team successfully defended their Simcoe County Athletic Association title Thursday as they squeaked out a nailbiting 39-32 win over Eastview Secondary School. In the back row, from left: Coach Mike Tutty, Taylor Smith, Laura De los Rios, Brianna Taylor, Sammy Stockdale, Taylor Coon, Lilja Toland and Coach Dylan Young. In the front row: Emma Thomson, Hennessy Langner, Isabela Fleguel, Mya Erskine and Lauryn Buchan. Not pictured: Kate Stacey.
The Orillia Secondary School junior girls basketball team was able to grind out a tough 39-32 triumph over Barrie's Eastview Secondary School Thursday to win their second straight Simcoe County Athletic Association AAA hoops title.
"The game was a grind from beginning to end," said Dylan Young, who coaches the Nighthawks alongside Mike Tutty. "Both teams are used to much higher production on offence, but both teams struggled to get any momentum on offence as the defences took over on both ends of the floor."
As the game progressed, the host Nighthawks found their stride and opened up a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter thanks to some effective transition play and "decent foul shooting." The Wildcats refused to be tamed, however. "They never quit and tried to press their way back into the game and caused a couple of turnovers and got as close as five points," said Young.
In the end, OSS showed why they finished atop the standings with a perfect 8-0 record as they managed to hold off the surging Wildcats. Isabela Fleguel led all scorers with 12 points, while Lilja Toland contributed nine -- including seven from the free-throw line in the second half.
It's been a perfect season so far for the Nighthawks. The local squad dominated their rivals in the regular season, outscoring their eight opponents 337-148. After getting a first-round bye in the playoffs, the Nighthawks crushed Bear Creek Secondary School (Barrie) 64-19 in the semifinal to punch their ticket to the title game against Eastview.
OSS will look to cap their undefeated season with one more win when they tip off against St. Joan of Arc, the Catholic School Athletics of Simcoe County champion, when they host the Georgian Bay championship next Thursday. The Barrie squad finished in a three-way tie for second place with St. Peter's (Barrie) and Orillia's Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School as all three teams earned 4-2 records. St. Joan of Arc defeated St. Peter's in the championship game to earn the right to battle OSS.