Summer's Corners repeats as TVDSB AAA girls' basketball champions
Saturday, March 3, 2018
By Rob J. Ross
LONDON, ON. - The Summer's Corners Sabres are golden again.
Led by 16 points from both Joslynn Henderson and Julie Nagelhout, the Sabres repeated as Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) elementary AAA girls' basketball champions, dumping Princess Anne, 46-11, in the championship final, at Westminster high school.
"It is really awesome that we could do it again," said Nagelhout. "This year was really tough, but the same effort went in as last year."
A year ago, Nagelhout, Henderson, Ella Cattrysse, Selecia Wall and Lydia Gavey, were in the line-up that captured gold.
"Our passing and dribbling were good," said Henderson, who at times seemed like a giant among elves under the hoop taking passes from teammates for baskets and grabbing rebounds. "I thought we did a great job."
Summer's Corners jumped out to a 14-2 lead, but the game remained close at half-time, with an 18-8 score.
A Sabres' 16-0 run, to start the second half, killed Princess Anne.
The defence led by Nagelhout, Wall and Cattrysse, caused headaches for Princess Anne, much like they did to all opponents throughout the season.
"We were running our press through our big three, putting those three up the middle so other teams can't drive up the middle, forcing them to go to the outside. They work together well on D and frustrate teams very quickly," Sabres' coach Greg Broadhead said.
Summer's Corners opened the TVDSB 'Valleys', with a 34-16 dropping of Emily Carr, before edging London Northridge, 18-13.
The lone blemish of the season may be the loss to the Mitchell Hepburn Mustangs, in the TVDSB SouthWest regional AA final. The Sabres led by two points, until the Mustangs hit a buzzer beater at the end of the fourth quarter and used that momentum to ride to a 30-28 overtime win.
Broadhead said the loss to Hepburn, "was a big learning experience for us."
"We talked about what it meant to play our system and how people need to be open to play different roles to help the team. We had to play really hard D, but being patient on offence. Our press is very fast, it's go, go, go. We don't need to be like that on offence."
The Sabres were without Henderson for the SouthWest final, out for a few games due to injury.
"Jos is an important part of our team and an overall great player. Not having her was tough but we still played really well," Nagelhout said. "The loss, it helped us and pushed us that much harder. We were not going to let that happen again."
Henderson's absence was noticeable, certainly when the Sabres' roster is just 10 players.
"Jos is a big part of our game, our big post player. Teams usually put their best player on Jos and that frees open our guards," said Broadhead. "We still need everybody. If we miss a piece, others girls have to step up, but we miss girls who are not here."
Earlier in the season, Summer's Corners beat Mitchell Hepburn, 38-12, in the final, of the Emily Stowe tournament, in Norwich.
The Mustangs and Sabres seem to clash often, including last year's TVDSB AAA final, won by the Sabres.
Now, East Elgin secondary school looks to benefit with the graduation of the grade eight players, but the Eagles have contributed to the success.
"East Elgin is a big help," said Broadhead. "Steve Voros comes out to our practices and helps us out, helps us with our press."
The Sabres have a unique group of females, "who are tall, strong, fast, smart. That's hard to find. They're so athletic and coachable," said Broadhead. "The girls were hungry, they were in it. Everybody contributes and everybody works hard and it showed. I'm super proud of them."
The Sabres' ladies have become a dominate force over the past year, winning TVDSB titles in basketball, volleyball and slo-pitch.
All but two players from basketball, were on the Sabres' volleyball squad that won gold in November.
Nagelhout, Henderson, Cattrysse, Wall, Isabelle Plain and Maxx Schekenburger, were part of the Sabres' slo-pitch championship team last June and they have the potential to repeat.
Mitchell Hepburn lost in the TVDSB bronze medal game, to London Northridge, playing with just seven players, due to absences, including for commitments to other sports.
In girls' AA
action, the June Callwood Cobras lost in the consolation final.