Golden Eagles topple Centennial
Nothing was going to stop Hope Guignard from playing for the Thorold Golden Eagles senior girls basketball team Wednesday afternoon against the visiting Centennial Cougars.
“She is doing awesome. She had a lot of points today and she was actually playing injured,” Thorold assistant coach Hannah Wall said. “She had a nasty fall at the game yesterday (Tuesday) but was determined to come today and help out the team because we are still short players. She made great unselfish plays today, had good finishes down by the net and played really well.”
Guignard finished with eight points to help Thorold record a 49-18 victory over Centennial in Niagara Region High School Athletic Association action.
The Grade 12 player has delivered all season for the Golden Eagles.
“I love her positivity. She is a good team player and is alway open to feedback and criticism to develop as a player,” Wall said.
Guignard fell on her hip in a game against Brebeuf but at no time did she consider not playing against Centennial.
“I took a couple of Advils. That was about it,” she said, with a laugh.
Surprisingly her hip felt better as the game went along.
“Honestly, it is fine. I thought it was going to be a lot worse.”
The 5-foot-4 guard knows she plays an important role for Thorold.
“I am trying to be a leader because there are only four Grade 12s on the team. A lot of the others are in Grade 11 and they haven’t played a lot with us because of COVID.”
Guignard is comfortable in her role.
“I am pretty confident in our plays and stuff,” she said.
Guignard has been playing basketball since Grade 4 and has only competed at the elementary and high school level. She is not planning to return for a 12B year at Thorold and will miss high school basketball.
“I love playing it and I love the girls. It is a lot of fun.”
This year, has been her favourite season.
“Coming back from COVID, it has been great to be back.”
Thorold improved to 3-6 on the season with the win.
“Over the last little bit of our season, we have been really focusing on working as a team,” Wall said. “This week, the girls have come together and done an amazing job of playing as a team even when we are down to six girls during the past two or three games. The girls who have shown up have done a great job of working hard and showing determination.”
Last season, Centennial won an Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations’ AA bronze medal but this year the team is in rebuild mode. Wednesday’s loss dropped the team’s record to 1-9 on the season.
“A lot of girls haven’t played a ton before and a few haven’t played in high school at all so it is good to introduce some of the girls to the game,” Cougars head coach Craig Maltais said. “We have had a fun season with a lot of development and learning some of the basics concept of the game: getting good looks; playing tough defence; and, working as a team.
“We have come a long way and it is nice to see them progress as individual players and as a team.”
Judging by the smiles on the Cougars’ faces Wednesday, they are clearly enjoying the ride.
“They have been a fun group,” he said. “Our practices have been good and in games, even if the score is not on our side, we have good energy on the bench and the girls support each other. It is a really positive attitude and it has been a good season that way.”
Golden Eagles 49 Cougars 18
Cat’s Caboose Players of the Game: Thorold’s Ava Conway and Anna Hammond with 15 points each.
For the Thorold Golden Eagles: Conway 15; Hammond 15; Hope Guignard 8; Ashley Mayhew 4; Erin Gilleta 2; J. Janeway 2; Tiana Hicks 1.
For the Centennial Cougars: Emma Sauer 16; Ivy Charlesbois 2.