A bronze medal bounty for Sudbury reps at OFSAA
by Randy Pascal
Bronze was the colour of the day as a trio of Sudbury high school teams returned home with OFSAA (Ontario Federation of School Athletic
Associations) medals from the weekend.
Both the Macdonald-Cartier Panthères (OFSAA "A" Girls Basketball) and the Lo-Ellen Park Knights (OFSAA "AA" Girls Basketball) finished third
in the respective competitions, while the Lasalle Lancers boys volleyball team earned "antique bronze" (fourth place) at the OFSAA "AA" Championships
Seede second entering play last Thursday, the Panthères definitely looked the part in racking up a first round 60-22 victory over Les Dragons de Le
Caron (Penetanguishene), as Ariane Saumure topped all scorers with 17 points.
Safe sailing through to the quarter finals as coach Sebastien Gervais and the ESMC girls upend the Temiskaming District Secondary School
Saints (New Liskeard) 58-23, with Saumure making it 33 points with a pair of games under her belt.
Quarter finals presented a NOSSA championship final rematch as Macdonald-Cartier once again got the better of the E.S. Algonquin Barons from
North Bay, beating their northern rivals 54-19 behind a 15 point performance from Arielle Douillette.
A slow start ultimately proved costly in the tighest of semi-final matchups as the Jean Vanier Lynx (Welland) slipped past the Panthères 42-41,
with Douillette counting 15 points for a second straight game.
Needing to somehow overcome the disapointment of that heart-breaking loss, the locals showcased some impressive resiliency, bolting out to a 16-2 first
quarter lead in the bronze medal affair and disposing of the Woodland Christian High School Cavaliers (Kitchener) 57-41 (Douillette with 25 points).
While this finish marked the first OFSAA medal for Macdonald-Cartier under the watch of coach Gervais, who has been at the helm of the program for more
than a decade, the Knights were on familiar ground as they worked their way into the Final Four in Huntsville.
Also seeded second as play tipped off at the "AA" playdowns, Lo-Ellen looked every bit the part of a team that captured bronze at the "A" provincials
last year at this time, thumping the Huntsville High School Hoyas 70-38 in their opening game.
The Knights appeared equally as dominant in game two, registering a 66-23 victory over the St Ignatius Falcons (Thunder Bay), with Maria Best
showing the way with an even dozen point effort.
Coach Jennifer Bourget and the team would overcome a slow start in their quarter-final contest, spotting the Stephen Leacock C.I. Lions a
15-8 first quarter lead before roaring back for a 65-39 triumph.
Pitted against a very solid opponent, the Knights fell short in the semis, defeated 62-54 by the Bishop MacDonell Celtics from Guelph (Taylin
Legault - 13 points), before bouncing back with a 38-25 win over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish from Burlington, with Emilie Lafond draining
17 points in the win.
Falling just a touch short of a third place finish, the Lancers settled for fourth place for a second straight year. Coach Scott Thomas and his
Lasalle Secondary lads cruised through pool play unblemished, posting a 4-0 record and topping the standings.
The locals knocked off, in order, the Renaissance Jags from Timmins (25-10, 25-19), the Birchmount Park Panthers from Toronto (25-13,
25-18), the St Mary Crusaders from Brockville (25-22, 25-18) and the Francis Libermann Falcons from Toronto (25-16, 25-20).
In quarter-final action, the Lancers outlasted the Bracebridge Lakers in four sets, 25-21, 25-21, 20-25, 25-16, making their way into the
championship quartet. Unfortunately, Lasalle would not hit the win column again, beaten by the Stratford Central Rams in the semi-finals and again
by the Franco-Cité Faucons from Ottawa in a five set classic (25-18, 21-25, 21-25, 33-31, 15-13).
Just one other local team found their way to OFSAA, as the Lockerby Vikings girls basketball team managed to squeeze in a win between a pair of
losses at the OFSAA "AAA" Championships in Guelph.
The Vikes dropped their opener, 54-34, to the Innisdale Invaders from Barrie, with Harmony Martel recording 14 points in a losing cause.
Lockerby evened their mark at 1-1, besting the Martingrove Bears from Etobicoke 45-39 as Jaclyn Groom posted 18 points to show the way for
the Sudbury crew.
Ranked #14 pre-tournament and pitted against the 13th ranked A.B. Lucas Vikings from London, the Vikings were eliminated 50-43, outscored 19-6 in
the final quarter and sent packing.