March 7 Local Sports: Red Raiders basketball; CEBL draft; Junior B playoff results
RED RAIDERS REBOUND
After being devastated by injuries to Keira Federinko (ACL) and Jorja Allen (ankle ligaments), the Niagara Falls Red Raiders under-15 girls basketball team came together by winning five straight games last weekend at the Hoop Dome Tournament to bring home yet another gold medal.
Niagara Falls defeated Ottawa Shooting Stars 56-29, Etobicoke Thunder 37-20 and East York Eagles 55-33 in round-robin play before knocking off the Barrie Royals 59-38 in the semifinals and the Motion Oshawa Strikers 51-44 in the gold-medal game.
Scoring leaders for the team were Hannah Bourdon, Hanna Dino and Amye Buchan. Strong work on the boards was provided by Justine Veltman, Amy Edwards and Victoria Wiggins. Great all around contributors were Riley Hutton, Alex Watson, Vanessa D’Abramo and Kate Battell. The team is coached by Mark Federinko, Sean Hutton and Andrea Wiggins.
RIVER LIONS PICK SIXTH AND SEVENTH IN CEBL DRAFT
The Niagara River Lions will pick sixth and the Fraser Valley Bandits will choose first in the inaugural Canadian Elite Basketball League entry draft to be held March 16.
The draft will follow a snake format, meaning teams will select one through six, then in inverse order through each subsequent round. Following the 11th round, a two-round U SPORTS Draft including both graduating and returning university players will be held. By virtue of selecting last in the opening round of the CEBL Entry Draft, the Niagara River Lions hold the first pick in the U SPORTS draft.
“I think the fun begins now as coaches, GMs, and presidents have their work cut out to assemble a winning roster”, said Mike Morreale, chief executive officer of the CEBL. “Key league partnerships with Canada Basketball and U SPORTS are only going to help them in this process, and personally I cannot wait to see the 78 players these teams select.”
CEBL teams will play a 20-game regular season from May 9 to August 15, culminating with a league championship playoff at a site to be announced.
BLACKHAWKS STILL ALIVE
The Thorold Blackhawks aren’t about to go quietly.
After dropping the first three games of their Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League, Golden Horseshoe Conference playoff series to the Pelham Panthers, the Blackhawks have clawed their way back into the series.
The Hawks took Game 4 4-3 and then staved off elimination once again Wednesday night with a 3-0 win at Pelham.
The Panthers still lead the best-of-seven, quarter-final playoff series 3-2 and can advance with a win in Game 6 Thursday in Thorold. Game 7, if necessary, would be Sunday in Pelham.
Noah Fortuna came up big in goal for the Hawks turning away 40 shots for the shutout.
Thorold led 1-0 after one period and 3-0 after two.
Trevor Neumann had a pair of goals while Cam Lightfoot added one.
CANUCKS 11 REGALS 4
The Niagara Falls Canucks rallied from a 3-0 deficit after one period to top the Lockport Regals and complete the sweep of their series.
Luke McFarlane, Mitch Mendonca, Dillon Hill and David D’Agostino collected two goals each for the Canucks. Ben Evans, Owen Holmes and Nicholas Prestia added singles. Andrew Bruno chipped in with four helpers.
A.J. Marinelli led Buffalo with two goals while Hunter Litman and Luke MacLeod also scored.
The Canucks will play the winner of the Pelham-Thorold series in the semifinals.
KILTY B’s 2 METEORS 1 OT
Mason Reeves scored a short-handed goal late in the first overtime period as the Hamilton Kilty B’s edged the Fort Erie Meteors to compete the sweep in their quarter-final series.
Luke Croucher gave Hamilton a 1-0 lead in the first period before Cail Cirillo tied the game for the Meteors in the second.
Fort Erie netminder Jacob Hearn made 55 saves in a losing effort, including penalty shots in the first period and overtime.
The Kilty B’s take on the St. Catharines Falcons in the semifinals slated to begin Friday, March 15 in St. Catharines.
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