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Eagles win OFSAA opening game

 Opening game victory at OFSAA hoops


   All players see court time as the East Elgin Eagles win their first game, 62-33

   against James Cardinal MCHS at OFSAA AA girls basketball      


  November 24, 2022


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By Rob J. Ross

STRATFORD, Ont. - The East Elgin Eagles were ready for OFSAA.

A balanced offensive attack, along with aggressive defence and rebounding, gave the Eagles an opening game win, at OFSAA AA girls basketball, defeating James Cardinal high school, from North York, 62-33, Thursday, at St. Mike's secondary school.

Eight Eagles found the score sheet, led by 16 points from co-captain Jaimie Staulbaum and every player had floor time throughout the second half.

"It was a whole team effort. We all worked together," Staulbaum said. "It feels so good. They were ranked ahead of us. We were showing them what we can do."

The 14th seeded Eagles jumped out to a 13-6 lead after one quarter, over eighth ranked James Cardinal and led 34-17 at recess.

"I think we really surprised ourselves on how calm and collected that we were and we took care of business," said Ainsley Preszcator. "We started seeing what they were doing and we clicked. It's probably been the best that we've played with our offence this year. It all fell in to place."

Ainsley, along her twin Brooke, were dominant under the hoop nabbing rebounds.

"I was trying to stay calm, because I get really nervous about big things. At the start of the first quarter, I was still a little bit shaky, but it helped, not getting beat up, but getting really rough, then I just got into the zone."

In the heat of battle, Ainsley took an elbow to the nose in the first quarter and hand to her face in the second quarter, but that is part of her game.

"Yeah, it's hard for some people," Ainsley said. "If they're pushing you, you push back and just have to really hold your place."

Ainsley finished with 13 points, Holly Van Gorp had eight, while Ellery Beilhartz and Brooke Preszcator, both had seven.

Lilly Allen chipped in with five points and was a force all over the court.

"Lilly, she's the engine. She's like the spark," praised Staulbaum. "Her defensive game was incredible. She's always the first one back."

Only in Grade 10, Allen played big minutes in her OFSAA debut.

"It's been crazy. Just coming here (OFSAA) is amazing," Allen said. "Being a 14th seed taking the win from a eighth seed, it's showing who we are. We're just from Aylmer, but we got a win and we're excited for the next game."

Allen plays a physical game with emotion.

"I do get in to it for sure," said Allen. "I do sometimes get emotional, with fouls, but we all push and take the roles that we need too. Everyone plays their game and we all played very well this game. Be nice to get an other win."

East Elgin meets Our Lady of Lourdes, from Waterloo, Friday, at 9 a.m.

A win and it's a spot in the quarterfinals. A loss sends a team to the consolation side.




More images on Instagram - hometownplay



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