Axewomen advance to final

Jason Simmonds
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At P.E.I. School Athletic Association senior AAA basketball championships

CHARLOTTETOWN – The Three Oaks Axewomen have put themselves in a position to win a third straight P.E.I. School Athletic Association senior AAA girls’ basketball championship.

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The Axewomen defeated the Charlottetown Rural Raiders 73-42 in a semifinal game on Thursday afternoon. The Axewomen will face the Colonel Gray Colonels in Tuesday’s 6 p.m. final. Gray topped the Bluefield Bobcats 75-30 in the other semifinal on Thursday night.

Bluefield and Rural will meet in the bronze-medal game on Tuesday at 2 p.m.

In the senior AAA boys’ semifinals, also played at Holland College on Thursday, the Charlottetown Rural Raiders cruised to an 89-38 victory over the Three Oaks Axemen while Colonel Gray handled the Westisle Wolverines 76-46 in the other semifinal.

On Tuesday, Three Oaks and Westisle will play for the bronze medal at 4 p.m., and the all-Charlottetown championship game will feature the Raiders taking on the Colonels at 8 p.m.

Following is a look at the semifinals:

Girls

Both teams seemed to battle nerves early as missed shots and turnovers resulted in a low-scoring first quarter that ended 11-9 in favour of Three Oaks, which led 29-20 at halftime.

The second-seeded Axewomen used a strong board presence, and their pressure forced turnovers as they ran to a 54-26 lead after three quarters.

Jessica Gillis led the Axewomen with 19 points and nine steals. Ashley Simmons recorded 18 points while Charlotte Thompson finished with 11 points, five boards, three steals and three blocks.

For the third-seeded Raiders, Sarah Steele led the way with 17 points, including a trio of three-pointers, and Kaisse Little finished with 12 points.

Colonel Gray 75

Bluefield 30

The No. 1-seeded Colonels, who led 23-6 after one quarter and 51-11 at the half, were too much for the fourth-seeded Bobcats.

Jenna Mae Ellsworth and Sarah Peters each sank a game-high 19 points to spark the Colonels offensively. Jada Yeo had 10 points while Kendra Craswell chipped in with eight points and eight steals.

For the Bobcats, Haley Wilting (15) and Jordan Havenga (6) were the top scorers.

Boys

Charlottetown Rural 89

Three Oaks 38

The top-seeded Raiders jumped out to a 15-4 lead and never looked back.

After Three Oaks, the No. 4 seed, closed to within five points, the Raiders went on a 21-0 run to close the first half ahead 46-19. That lead stretch to 73-32 after three quarters.

Brayden White’s 23-point effort sparked the Raiders’ attack. Noah Giddings (14 points, eight rebounds), Stephen Seviour (13 points, seven rebounds), Lucas Clow (seven points) and Jack MacAulay (seven points) also chipped in offensively.

Ty Wright (12) and Aiden Smith (8) were the Axemen’s top scorers.

Colonel Gray 76

Westisle 46

The Colonels, who are the No. 2 seed, raced to a 26-4 first-quarter lead, and led 48-19 at halftime.

Brett Butler had the hot hand for the Colonels, scoring 22 points, including six three-pointers, while recording eight rebounds, three blocks and three steals. Jeremy Thompson and Max Ramsay each sank 13 points and Yousef Sefau added eight points, including the hoop of the night – a twisting reverse lay-up off the boards.

Kenan Wilkie poured in 25 points to lead the third-seeded Wolverines, who never quit despite the lopsided score. Andrew Gough contributed eight points, eight rebounds and six blocks.

Friday’s Schedule

Friday’s PEISAA senior AA basketball semifinals schedule:

2 p.m. – girls: Montague vs. Colonel Gray.

4 p.m. – boys: Kensington vs. Three Oaks.

6 p.m. – girls: Westisle vs. Souris.

8 p.m. – boys: Charlottetown Rural vs. Souris.

Organizations: Holland College, Charlottetown Rural Raiders 73, AAA PEI School

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Kensington

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