A 54-23 win over College Ave Knights gives East Elgin a third consecutive
TVRA South-East AA senior girls basketball title
November 10, 2022
By Rob J. Ross
AYLMER, Ont. - The East Elgin Eagles completed their domination of the South-East division.
Jaimie Stahlbaum led with a game high 17 points and Holly Van Gorp had nine points, as the Eagles defeated Woodstock College Avenue Knights, 53-24, in the Thames Valley Regional Athletics AA senior girls basketball final, Thursday, at East Elgin secondary school.
"We beat CASS with strong defence and contributions from the entire team. We had early foul trouble and every girl stepped up to play," said Stahlbaum, Eagles' co-captain with Ellery Beilhartz. "Our consistency has been through teamwork. Everyone on the team contributes both offensively and defensively. We have almost everyone hit the score sheet each game, which makes us difficult to guard as a team."
The Eagles went 7-0 throughout the South-East regular season and defeated Central Elgin in the semifinals.
"The most consistent aspect has definitely been our energy," Beilhartz said. "Our team is filled with such an amazing group of girls and when needed, the bench is always extremely supportive. We have a saying to keep us motivated. 'go out there and dominate like a girl boss'."
East Elgin won the South-East AA title in 2019 and after the 2020 season was cancelled, due to the COVID pandemic, the Eagles returned last year going undefeated, capped with a 33-19 win over Woodstock CI, in the final.
"Our goal was to defend our championship," said Beilhartz. "Our coaches worked super hard this entire year to prepare us for every possible scenario. Having that knowledge to fall back on played a huge role in the outcome of the games."
Team unity is at the forefront of the Eagles.
"We have become really close as a team as we worked through early season sickness and injuries," Stahlbaum said. "Our coaches push us to be our best on and off the court and it translates to our games. We trust in each other each time we step on the court and we are each other's biggest fans."
Adds, Beilhartz, "The main thing that ties everything together and is said at the end of every pre-game huddle, during practice, and is the reason why we play, is to have fun. It's such a joy playing on this team. We're always laughing and having fun."
Up next is the Western Ontario Secondary Schools Athletic Association (WOSSAA) AA junior and senior tournament, at St. Mike's high school, in Stratford, Wednesday, November 16.
"We feel like we're peaking at the right time and moving forward, we are looking to be competitive in as many games as we can," said Beilhartz.
St. Mike's is also the host for the OFSAA AA championship, November 24-26.
One team will join St. Mike's at the provincial tournament and that is the Eagles' goal. The last year the Eagles made an appearance at OFSAA, was in 2008, when assistant coach Katie Knight was on the court.
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