A 51-34 win over St Joe's also qualifies East Elgin for WOSSAA
November 7, 2023
By Rob J. Ross
AYLMER, Ont. - Step one of the East Elgin Eagles senior girls basketball team's goal has been accomplished.
The Eagles are advancing to the Thames Valley Regional Athletics (TVRA) South-East AA final and have a spot at WOSSAA, following a 51-34 win over the St. Joseph's Rams Tuesday in a semifinal at East Elgin secondary school.
Ainsley Preszcator led the way with 13 points, while Ellery Beilhartz and Lilly Allen, each had nine, as the Eagles played for the first time this season in their renovated gym.
"It got finished like 20 minutes before the game, so we're really thankful that we got to play here and have people come out and support," Beilhartz said. "We really wanted this and we were here to prove a point and show our stuff. I feel we're a second half team. We definitely come together in the second half."
East Elgin led 22-13 at half, before outscoring the Rams 16-9 in the third quarter, for a 38-22 lead.
"We have lots of athletes, so using our strengths and playing our game, that is running in transition, using our bigs (twins Ainsley and Brooke Preszcatr)," said Beilhartz. "We're a shooting team, so getting those open shots, getting those rebounds and staying positive. The basics, getting our fundamentals down and having fun."
East Elgin hosts the South-East AA final against Woodstock College Ave Knights, Thursday at 3 p.m.
Both teams head to the WOSSAA tournament, Thursday, November 16, at South high school in London. The WOSSAA champ advances to OFSAA, November 18 in Guelph.
Coral Beecroft scored 11 points for the Rams and Promise Atkinson had six.
College Ave edged the Parkside Stampeders, 44-41, in the other South-East AA semifinal.
The three-time reigning South-East champs are aiming for a return trip to OFSAA, the high school provincial championships. A year ago, East Elgin finished in the top eight at OFSAA, losing in the quarterfinals to the eventual champions, Sir Winston Churchill.
"Definitely the goal. We want to medal this year," Beilhartz said.
The majority of the team is back from last year, except for Jaimie Staulbaum, the 2022 Ms Basketball for the South-East division.
The gym floor at East Elgin has been renovated with a new colour scheme and bleachers are on the way, destined to be along the west wall.
In junior South-East AA semifinal action, Parkside defeated East Elgin and St. Joe's dumped Huron Park, to advance to the South-East final and WOSSAA.
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