Bulldog returns home
It didn’t take long for Kaley DeMont to realize the Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association program at A.N. Myer wasn’t the right fit for her.
“The first week I got there I knew it wasn’t for me,” the Grade 11 student at Sir Winston Churchill said. “I missed my friends and Sir Winston a lot, and all my friends on the basketball team. It’s my home.”
It didn’t take her long to feel she was where she belonged.
“It was 30 seconds after I got back here,” she said, after scoring 19 points to lead the Bulldogs to a 48-38 victory over the St. Francis Phoenix Wednesday night in the Standard Girls Basketball Tournament championship quarter-finals.
Churchill head coach Frank Keltos is delighted to have the high-scoring guard back with the Bulldogs.
“She is a family friend and a great kid and I am glad that she is back,” he said.
Keltos values DeMont’s scoring, but also her ability to handle the ball under pressure.
“Sometimes she gets in a peanut hole and she is able to dribble out of it,” he said. “And I think ‘OK’ .”
DeMont started slowly Wednesday night, missing her first seven or eight shots, before heating up with nine points in each of the second and third quarters.
Even when her shots aren’t falling, the 16-year-old knows that shooters have to shoot.
“Coach Frank says to keep shooting because I am not going to make one unless I keep shooting.”
DeMont is excited about her team’s prospects this season.
“We’re all fast, we have a good basketball mentality, we’re always moving up the court and we work really well together.”
The Niagara JUEL player wants to continue to fine tune her game.
“I want to get better at shooting by being more consistent with it, driving more to get my teammates open and passing to them.”
Phoenix coach Jon Marcheterre was pleased with how his squad hung tough with the third-seeded Bulldogs.
“It’s so bittersweet,” he said. “It was a well-executed game plan by the girls and they did a great job of trying to do what we asked them to do.
“We are happy about that because we know what kind of team Churchill is and for us to hang with them the whole game is a real positive.”
The sad part for Marcheterre was seeing the tears on the faces of the Grade 12 girls who were playing in their final Standard tournament.
“My heart breaks for the girls because we wanted it.”
Keltos estimates the Phoenix shot the ball at a 80 per cent clip in the first half to put a real scare in the Bulldogs.
‘We were extremely cold, but we found a way to get the lead at half,” he said. “They played a really good half and we didn’t but we probably turned them over 15 or 20 times.”
Churchill guard Ally Sentance was responsible for many of those turnovers.
“We did enough to win and they played extremely well,” Keltos said. “They went big and I didn’t expect them to go with three bigs. In the end, our speed wore them down.”
Bulldogs 48 Phoenix 38
Mick and Angelo’s/Johnny Rocco’s Player of the Game: Churchill’s Kaley DeMont with 19 points.
For the Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs: DeMont 19; Olivia Krieger 11; Ally Sentance 9; Reagan Emonds 7; Sarah Britnell 2.
For the St. Francis Phoenix: Teagan Orth 13; Viktoria Cubelic 10; Hannah Schipper 9; Elke Villeneuve 4; Grace Gill 2.
EAGLES 33 GOLDEN EAGLES 27
Regan Jones scored 12 points to help the Grimsby Eagles defeat the Thorold Golden Eagles 33-27 in consolation quarter-final action Wednesday at the Standard tournament.
Also scoring for Grimsby were Maddy Reed (9), Madelyn Strongitharm (8), Allison Caswell (3) and Sarah Wade (2).
Replying for Thorold were Dior Arbuthnot (9), Mia Nicholson (7), Riley Humaniski (3), Eryn Adams (2), Riley Humaniski (2) and Cinthia Rougoor (2).
“We played them before and we were more practised and they were less practised, but now as we have been getting busy with the basketball season I think they have had a bit more practice,” Grimsby head coach Erika Smith said. “They were more polished than the first time we saw them and they came out with a bang and really improved on their last performance against us.”
Smith liked the grit her team showed Wednesday.
“Our plays were falling apart, but they were still out there cutting and moving and teamwork they showed was fantastic.”