Bell and Reds ring up opening victory in BPSN Tourney
Lexxus Bell is hoping to go out a winner with the Denis Morris Reds senior girls basketball team.
“It’s my last year and we have a lot of Grade 12s so we know it’s our last year and we are trying to push and get as far as we can go and then go from there,” the 17-year-old said Tuesday, after scoring 26 points to lead the Reds to a 74-49 victory over the Saint Paul Patriots in the opening game of the First BPSN Girls Basketball Tournament.
“It is 100 per cent motivating being my last year. I want to have as much fun, do as much as I can and achieve as much as I can achieve.”
Denis Morris will be relying on the Grade 12 point guard in this week’s tournament and beyond.
“Lexxus is great,” Denis Morris head coach Stefanie DeMizio said. “She has the basketball skill, aggression and sense to carry a team and she’s a great player to have.”
Bell has improved many parts of her game and sees the floor well.
“She’s more of a leader and on the basketball court she knows when to pass. She encourages the girls and gets them to talk and play better defence as a team,” DeMizio said. “I hope she sticks with it because she’s definitely very talented.”
The 5-foot-8 player is savouring her last season of DM basketball, including Tuesday’s buyout game.
“The start was a little rough and we don’t really know if it was all about the people or what was going on but we knew we needed to pull ourselves together.
DeMizio was vocal in the huddle before her team started the second quarter.
“It was a very slow start and not what I was expecting but thank goodness we pulled it together at the end,” DM coach Stefanie DeMizio said.
The Reds trailed 13-12 after one quarter, but went on a huge run to start the second quarter and never looked back.
In the previous two years competing in The Standard tournament, the predecessor of the BPSN tourney, the Reds lost their first game before rallying to win the consolation title.
“My goal was to at least win the first game and make it to the championship side this year,” DeMizio said.
As one of the higher seeds in the tournament, the Reds are expected to be a factor in the tournament this season and a contender for the Zone 4 AAA championship.
“We have had the same team for the last two years and our main girls are in Grade 12 so this is the year I am hoping for big things,” she said. “It is looking good so far but let’s keep it going.”
When this season is over, Bell is hoping to play at the next level whether it’s in college or at university. Both Brock University and Niagara College would love to have her on their rosters.
“I’m not sure what I am doing yet,” she said. “I have to start looking at programs and find out what I am interested in.”
The Niagara Girls Basketball Academy JUEL player feels she has made excellent progress in her game.
“It’s a lot of practising and it’s not just me,” she said. “It is my whole team practising, bonding and working together. They make me look good.”
Saint Paul lost by 11 to Denis Morris in recent Niagara Catholic Athletic Association league play but it was a different story Tuesday.
“The shots didn’t seem to fall and we didn’t get a lot of good looks. We seemed to be a bit disorganized and we made bad decisions with our passing,” Saint Paul assistant coach Tyler Tonet said. “It wasn’t like last game. The last game was a lot tighter but we couldn’t get the ball to our shooters and we made poor decisions overall.”
Reds 74 Patriots 49
Mick and Angelo’s/Johnny Rocco’s/Cracker Jacks Players of the Game: Denis Morris’ Lexxus Bell with 26 points and Saint Paul’s Hannah Dino with 14 points.
For the Denis Morris Reds: Bell 26; Jordyn Britton 14; Bianca Sestili 7; Isabel McKay 7; Cayla Mirabella 5; Maisyn Kwinecki 4; Trinity Learmond 4; Victoria Kaufman 4; Cassandra Kuehnan 2.
For the Saint Paul Patriots: Dino 14; Keira Federinko 12; Julia Garisto 11; Maia MacLean 5; Livia Piccirillo 4; Brooke Lennox 4.
BULLDOGS 68 PHOENIX 12
The top-seeded Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs opened the BPSN Girls Basketball Tournament with a 68-12 victory Tuesday over the St. Francis Phoenix.
Scoring for the Bulldogs were Kaley DeMont (17), Olivia Krieger (13), Ally Sentance (12), Brookelyn Keltos (11), Raegan Emonds (6), Yemi Oladipo (6) and Kennedy Millin (2).
Replying for the Phoenix were: Grace Gill (4), Abbey Gooder (4), Meghan McLaughlin (2) and Rachel Bufalino (2).
The First BPSN Girls Basketball Tournament has been made possible thanks to the generous support of: Tora Inc: Niagara Rangers; No Limit Performance: St. Catharines Rebels in recognition of all their volunteers who make the organization a success; Niagara Falls Red Raiders; Alltech Automotive; Niagara District Referees Association; Brock University women’s basketball program; Pelham Panthers; Alison’s Sports Awards and Promotions; and, the Niagara College women’s basketball program.