NCAA senior girls basketball all-stars
Notre Dame guard Maddie Picton was one of the players elected to the Niagara Catholic Athletic Association senior girls all-star basketball team.
The end of every sports season is a chance to reflect on the best players and all-stars of a particular sport.
In keeping with that tradition, BP Sports Niagara asked coaches with the Niagara Catholic Athletic Association to choose all-stars from their senior girls basketball teams. All schools responded with their selections except one and in that instance, BP Sports Niagara stepped in and made the choices. In the new few weeks, BP Sports Niagara is hoping to unveil the senior girls basketball all-stars from the Niagara Region High School Athletic Association.
Following are the all-stars from each Catholic high school. Comments about the players are included whenever they were provided.
BLESSED TRINITY THUNDER
The Thunder went 6-1 in league play, defeated Saint Paul 55-15 in the quarter-finals, Saint Michael 58-51 in the semifinals and lost 58-40 to Notre Dame in the NCAA final. At the Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association championships, the Thunder fell 49-26 to Notre Dame in the semifinals.
Selected to the all-star team were 5-foot-7 guard Mia DiPasquale and 5-foot-5 guard Ella Muraca.
DiPasquale, a Grade 11 student and team captain, led her team in scoring and assists and helped the Thunder makes the finals of the St. John’s Brampton and Saltfleet tournaments.
“(DiPasquale) provided excellent leadership to a very young and talented team,” the nominator wrote.
Muraca, a Grade 10 student, was second on her team in scoring and provided a great one-two punch on offence and defence for the Thunder.
“Great energy and enthusiasm,” wrote the nominator.
DENIS MORRIS REDS
The Reds went 3-4 in regular season play and lost a hardfought 49-46 decision to Saint Michael in the quarter-finals. Denis Morris lost 61-39 to Westdale in the SOSSA AAA semifinals.
Selected to the all-star team were 5-foot-11 forward Emily White and 5-foot-11 guard Lexxus Bell. White, a Grade 12 student was the team’s top rebounder and one of its leading scorers while Bell, a Grade 10 student, was a catalyst on offence and defence.
HOLY CROSS RAIDERS
The Raiders finished 0-7 in league play and lost 54-24 to to Notre Dame in the quarter-finals.
Selected to the all-star team were 5-foot-9 Grade 12 forward Amanda Hemphill and 5-foot-7 Grade 11 guard/forward Sarah O’Rourke.
“She always had a strong presence in the paint helping with rebounding and put backs,” wrote the nominator about Hemphill.
O’Rourke is described as a player with the mindset and abilities to play several positions including point guard, shooting guard and power forward.
“She has tremendous leadership skills both on and off the court,” the nominator wrote.
LAKESHORE CATHOLIC GATORS
The Gators went 3-4 in regular season action before falling 31-28 to St. Francis in the quarter-finals.
Selected to the all-star team was 5-foot-7 Grade 10 wing player Keri-Lyn Jones
“Great basketball skills, coachable, dedicated, great team player and puts forth great effort; never gives up,” wrote the nominator.
NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH
The Irish went 7-0 in league play, beat Holy Cross in the quarter-finals, St. Francis 58-40 in the semifinals and Blessed Trinity in the finals. After defeating Blessed Trinity in the SOSSA finals, it won the AAA title with a 68-46 victory over Westdale. At OFSAA, the Irish made it to the semifinals where they lost 57-39 to St. Joseph’s of Toronto. In the bronze-medal game, Notre Dame lost a 43-30 decision to Holy Cross of Kingston
Selected to the all-star team were 5-foot-3 Grade 10 guard Maddie Picton and 5-foot-8 Grade 12 forward Olivia Turko.
ST. FRANCIS PHOENIX
The Phoenix went 4-3 in regular season play and defeated Lakeshore Catholic in the quarter-finals before losing to Notre Dame in the semifinals. In the Zone 4 AA final, St. Francis fell 52-32 to Sir Winston Churchill.
Phoenix players selected to the all-star team were 5-foot-6 Grade 12 point guard Sophia Al-Kayed and 5-foot-11 Grade 11 forward Viktoria Cubelic.
In an Oct. 28 story on BP Sports Niagara, Phoenix coach Jon Marcheterre described Al-Kayed in the following manner.
“She’s not an overly vocal leader but she leads by example and leaves it all out on the floor,” Marcheterre said. “She’s very quick, fearless and an exciting player.”
Marcheterre said the following about Cubelic in a Oct, 24 story.
“Her fundamental skills are a lot more polished that a lot of girls on our team and a lot of the girls we see in our area,” he said. “She has excellent athleticism and good natural instincts.”
SAINT MICHAEL MUSTANGS
The Mustangs went 4-3 in regular season play, defeated Denis Morris in the quarter-finals and lost to Blessed Trinity in the semifinals. In the Zone 3 AA finals, the Mustangs lost 62-49 to Centennial.
Selected to the all-star team roster were 5-foot-8 Grade 12 forward Carlee Ibey and 5-foot-6 Grade 11 guard Julie Manlow.
SAINT PAUL PATRIOTS
The Patriots went 1-6 in the regular season and lost to Blessed Trinity in the quarter-finals.
Selected to the all-star squad were 5-foot-5 Grade 12 forward Susan Leone and 5-foot-3 Grade 12 guard Juliana Camisa.