Cyclone overcome slow start
Sydney Grummett is well aware she’s living on borrowed time as a member of the E.L. Crossley Cyclone.
The 17-year-old, Grade 12 student is in the stretch run of her impressive high school career and realizes the end could come at any time at this point.
“It’s definitely sad to know any game could be your last game,” Grummett said Thursday, after netting eight points as the Cyclone topped the Centennial Cougars 55-40. “It also makes you push harder because you don’t want it to be your last game. You want it to continue to keep going.”
The Cyclone now advance to the Niagara Regional High School Athletic Association senior girls Zone 3 AA championship final Monday at Greater Fort Erie Secondary School at 3 p.m.
The winner advances to the Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association (SOSSA) AA playdowns at Crossley next Thursday, while the loser is done for the season.
Grummett would love nothing more than to play again in front of the home fans next week.
“Honestly, it’s a great way to spend the last year. We’ve never hosted a SOSSA so it would be so nice to win it at home,” she said.
Crossley coach Aaron Belding makes no bones how important Grummett is to the Cyclone.
“She is definitely the biggest asset we have on the team. The fact is she does rebound, she does score, she does get the girls pumped up on defence.”
Grummett, who has a Basketball Ontario Division 1 championship and a SOSSA junior title to her credit, took over the ball handing duties Thursday from her normal backcourt buddy, Tess Puchalski, who was out of commission after undergoing dental surgery earlier in the day.
“Honestly, it doesn’t matter who takes up the ball, it’s just get it up and we’re going to run a play and pass the ball around anyways,” she said. “I love it when Tess brings it up, but when she’s away (I do).”
Grummett was also her usual force on the boards.
“It’s a bit of pops. I definitely get that from my dad (Paul Grummett) but you have to be aggressive when you go up. Use two hands, grab it and rip it down, and then you know it’s yours.”
The Cyclone led 12-6 after one quarter and 25-23 at the half before stretching their lead to 44-35 after three quarters.
“I’m not sure what was going on early,” Grummett said. “We just mentally weren’t in the game. We have been doing that for our last few games. We really need to gear up going into the GFSS game and the rest of the season. We need to start strong and finish strong. We have to play all four quarters.”
The Cyclone finally began to show signs of life in the second half.
“At halftime, we said we need bring more intensity. That’s what we were missing, on offence and on defence. Once we started moving more and seeing each other on the floor more, we started getting those easy buckets,” Grummett said.
Belding was not the least bit impressed with his team’s start.
“They were not focused, there was no intensity, there was no commitment to playing defence,” he said. “I think that was due to the week off and only being able to have one practice, but the girls need to find a way to come out in a big game — winner goes on and loser goes home.
“This is a new season. They just don’t have, for lack of a better word, the killer instinct to put the hammer down at this time. We cannot afford to take the first quarter to find our first gear to go. We have to hit the jump ball and go.”
Cyclone 55 Cougars 40
Johnny Rocco’s/Mick and Angelo’s/Cracker Jack’s Players of the Game: Sydney Grummett for Crossley with eight points while running the offence and dominating the boards and Rodrigue for the Cougars with 13 points.
For the E.L. Crossley Cyclone: Grummet 8; Jordan Wilton 10; Taryn Mitchell 8; Sydney Piekny 7.
For the Centennial Cougars: Jayda Rodrigue 12; Emily Campbell 10; Sarah Stayzer 7.
Up next: The Cyclone advance to the NRHSAA Zone 3 finals Monday at Greater Fort Erie. The winner moves on to the SOSSA AA playdowns Thursday, Nov. 14 at E.L. Crossley.
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