The East Elgin Eagle never lost a game in TVRA action winning gold
January 8, 2024
By Rob J. Ross
ST. THOMAS - Ellery Beilhartz never lost a game in league action during her high school basketball career.
During the 2023 Thames Valley Region Athletics (TVRA) season, Beilhartz was instrumental in guiding the East Elgin Eagles to a third consecutive South-East title and return trip to OFSAA, the provincial high school championship.
The Eagles' captain and fourth year senior player is the 2023 South-East Ms. Basketball.
"This award means so much to me,' said Beilhartz. "I've been trying to achieve it since Grade 10 (no basketball in grade 9 due to COVID). I've been working hard on developing my game, both in season and during the summers. I feel proud to end my high school basketball career with this accomplishment."
Averaging 18 points per game, eight assists and six steals, Beilhartz was a leader throughout the TVRA season as the Eagles capped another undefeated run with South-East playoff gold.
Court awareness and enthusiasm on and off the court is how the 17-year old from St. Thomas feels she shines on the hardwood.
"I would say my shooting, court vision and the energy I bring," Beilhartz said. "I love cheering my teammates on and celebrating with them. I've also continued to work on my ball handling and passing, which I feel has improved this past high school season."
Beilhartz was a central figure in East Elgin capturing their first WOSSAA title since 2008, and returning to OFSAA, this year held in Guelph.
"I loved my OFSAA experience. I had a lot of fun with this team," said Beilhartz, a two-time TVRA senior all-star. "We were faced with so much adversity this year that even making it to OFSAA was an amazing achievement."
A year ago at OFSAA in Stratford, the Eagles lost to the eventual champions, Winston Churchill, in the quarterfinals.
This year, in the same game, the Eagles fell to Arnprior, who went to on the silver medal. The Eagles were hit hard with injuries, not having their two 'bigs', twins Brooke and Ainsly Preszcator for the quarterfinal, Beilhartz suffering from headaches that was later determined to be a concussion and two more teammates playing with injuries.
"Sadly, we encountered quite a few injuries in our second game, which meant we were playing without a few key starters," Beilhartz said. "I truly believe if we were to re-play (Arnprior) without our injuries, I think we could beat them. The score would've been a lot closer. Nonetheless, we played the cards we were dealt and gave it everything we had."
Beilhartz's knowledge and enthusiasm for the game is not lost on teammates.
"She was a very critical part of our team," Eagles' Brooke Preszcator said. "She provided leadership on the court and on the bench and helped to encourage all of our players to play their best. She was always helping us, and giving us different pointers if she saw something on the court that no one else saw."
Her high school basketball resume includes one WOSSAA gold, two WOSSAA silvers, three South-East titles and two trips to OFSAA. Beilhartz has been the Eagles' team MVP twice.
Outside of the Eagles' nest, Beilhartz helps at summer basketball camps, including with the East Elgin Youth Club. Beilhartz plays club basketball with the London Ramblers U19 Juel team.
Beilhartz, also on the swim team, was the Eagles' junior athlete of the year in 2021 and will be in the running for her school's senior athlete of the year in 2024. The co-president of her school's athletic association has already won major awards for dedication to sport and most coachable athlete.
Her future currently undetermined in terms of post secondary education and playing hoops, but Beilhartz does work part time as a pharmacy assistant at a local drug store.