Cyclone advance to consolation final
The E.L. Crossley Cyclone overcame a short bench to hold off the Thorold Golden Eagles 29-24 in a consolation semifinal game Thursday at the Second Annual BPSN Girls Basketball Tournament.
The Cyclone had only one substitute which meant for plenty of floor time for star point guard Kaitlyn Brophy, who played all 32 minutes.
“We have lots of injuries this season,” said Brophy, a 17-year-old, Grade 12 student. “It’s hard, any level you’re playing at, to play the whole game.”
Brophy said she survived by not trying to do it all herself.
“Honestly, it’s giving the ball up to my teammates, sharing the ball, and just thinking about the win,” she said.
Brophy connected for eight points Thursday and is leading the Cyclone in scoring, averaging 15.3 points over the first three games of the tournament.
“She’s our point guard. She’s the general of what’s going on on the floor,” Cyclone coach Aaron Belding said. “When she’s working and being effective, then we’re playing very well. When she has an off game, we definitely feel we’re having an off game.”
Belding was proud of the squad for being able to pull out a win under such difficult circumstances.
“They worked very hard and the baskets weren’t falling so it had to definitely be a team game,” he said. “We had to pass the ball, find the open player, and hope the ball went in.”
The Cyclone led 13-12 at the half before faring slightly better offensively in the second half.
“It was that rim. The rim was better,” Belding joked.
Brophy said it had more to do with what went on at halftime.
“Coach has some pretty good motivational speeches and I just told the girls to dig in and they wanted it,” she said.
Brophy plays at the JUEL level and is hoping for a long run in her final season at the high school level.
“I want to go as far as we can go and I want to showcase myself as much as can and have a positive year,” she said.
She would like to play at the university level next season if the fit is right.
“Obviously, I’m looking to but I’m choosing school first. I want to go into law. It would be amazing to play.”
The Cyclone square off versus the Saint Francis Phoenix Friday at 5:30 p.m. at Governor Simcoe for the consolation championship.
“We’re playing for experience and obviously we want to win. Even though it’s consolation side, that’s the best we can do this tournament, that’s what we’re playing for,” Belding said.
Thorold coach Andrew Thompson would have loved to see his team advance, but enjoyed the ride into the semifinals.
“We want to win but the girls played hard,” he said. “I’m very proud of them. They weren’t sure if they were going to hang around but they did. They ran out of a little bit of gas in the fourth quarter.”
Thompson appreciated being part of the BPSN Tournament.
“Win or lose, that’s the best part, seeing you guys here and seeing family and friends in the crowd. That’s the highlight, to see these girls playing and smiling because the last two years have been tough for everybody.”
Cyclone 29 Golden Eagles 24
Cat’s Caboose Player of the Game: Grace Sodtke with 12 points.
For the E.L. Crossley Cyclone: Sodtke 12; Kaitlyn Brophy 8; Sarah Lowry 4; Amelia Siolkokosky 3; Maddison Matiesh 2;
For the Thorold Golden Eagles: Hope Guignard 5; Ava Conway 5; K. Hailes 5; Anna Hammond 4; Portia Watts 3; Ava Fullerton 2.
Up next: The Cyclone square off versus the Saint Francis Phoenix Friday at 5:30 p.m. at Governor simcoe for the consolation championship.
The tournament is made possible with the help of primary sponsors, Women Networking in Sports of Niagara and Tora Inc., and secondary sponsors, Alltech Automotive, St. Catharines CYO Basketball, Pelham Panthers basketball, Niagara Falls Red Raiders basketball, Niagara Rangers basketball and the Niagara District Referees Association.
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