SUMMERSIDE – The Colonel Gray Colonels proved why they are the No. 1-ranked team on Prince Edward Island over the weekend.
The Colonels outscored their opponents 217-129 in posting three impressive victories en route to winning the eight-team Three Oaks Senior High School Sweetheart basketball tournament. The Colonels defeated longtime rival Three Oaks Axewomen 73-49 in the championship game at the Three Oaks gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.
“We played very well defensively, and we sputtered by times offensively, but we got it straightened away,” said Colonels head coach Chris Annett in assessing his team’s play in the two-day tournament.
Earlier Saturday, Three Oaks, led by 16-point efforts by Thompson and Julie Campbell, defeated James M. Hill 72-45 while Colonel Gray topped Amherst 73-38 in the semifinals. Jada Yeo led the Colonels with 13 points.
“We were hoping to get to the final, which we did, and we knew Gray was going to be the team to beat,” said Jessica Gillis, a Grade 12 guard with the Axewomen. “We played as hard as we could, and that’s all that we could ask for.”
After a tight first quarter, Gray, which is undefeated in the P.E.I. School Athletic Association Senior AAA Girls Basketball League, took a 43-24 cushion into halftime.
“I thought Three Oaks played very, very well early, but we tend to wear teams down,” said Annett. “We are a big strong team and teams tend to wear down physically and mentally against us. . .
“They (Axewomen) did an excellent job early, and they were ahead until almost the end of the first quarter. We went ahead at the end of the first quarter and from there on it was very smooth sailing.”
Yeo and Jenna Mae Ellsworth, a pair of Grade 10s, led the Colonels with 20 and 21 points, respectively. Tournament most valuable player Kendra Craswell, a Grade 11 guard, chipped in with 16 points.
Grade 12 forwards Charlotte Thompson and Ashley Simmons led the Axewomen with 13 points each while Gillis contributed 11.
Simmons and Gray’s Emily White were selected as the players of the game.
The Axewomen, who have been hit hard by injuries and sickness, played the final with just eight players. That, combined with a deep Colonel Gray roster, and the Axewomen were facing a very challenging task.
“We have a lot of depth and talent,” said Annett. “It makes coaching a whole lot easier when you have talent.”
The game marked the final Sweetheart tournament for the Axewomen’s four seniors – Simmons, Gillis, Thompson and Laura O’Neill, who is one of the injured players.
Thompson admitted it’s always special to play in the tournament.
“It’s a big honour,” said Thompson. “We all love the Sweetheart. It was unfortunate it got cancelled last year (due to the weather).”
The tournament all-star team consisted of Gray’s Ellsworth; Gillis and Thompson of Three Oaks; Meagan MacDiarmid of James M. Hill, and Lauren MacEachern of Amherst.
Saturday’s other Sweetheart games:
Three Oaks 72
James M. Hill 45
In a semifinal game, Julie Campbell and Charlotte Thompson each recorded 16 points while Ashley Simmons added 15 to lead Three Oaks.
Meagan MacDiarmid (14) and Katie Corlett (12) were James M. Hill’s top scorers.
Three Oaks built a comfortable 46-18 advantage at the half.
Players of the game were Thompson and Corlett.
Colonel Gray 73
In a semifinal game, Colonel Gray was in control of this one throughout, building a 49-13 lead at halftime.
Jada Yeo poured in 16 points to ignite Gray’s attack. Jenna Mae Ellsworth and Kendra Craswell each finished with 13 points.
Mia Furlong was Amherst’s top point-getter with 15. Lauren Chitty (5) and Hannah Beland (5) were the other two top scorers.
Players of the game were Craswell and Beland.
Charlottetown Rural 68
North Nova 63
In a cross-over game, Sarah Steele sank a game-high 28 points while Abbey Hurley added 18 and Nicole Davis chipped in with eight to lead the way offensively for the Raiders, who trailed 35-33 at halftime.
Natalie Addison was North Nova’s top scorer with 19 points. Meredith Hynes (11) and Jamie McCaron (10) also scored in double digits.
Players of the game were Hurley and Hynes.
Miramichi Valley 37
In a crossover game, Jordon Havenga’s 15-point effort sparked Bluefield’s attack while Maria Walsh contributed 14 and Haley Wilton was credited with six.
For Miramichi Valley, Jill Harris (17), Bailey Black (10) and Lindsay Gallant (4) were the leading scorers.
Bluefield took a 33-27 advantage into halftime.
Players of the game were Walsh and Black.
Miramichi Valley 57
North Nova 42
Miramichi Valley built a comfortable 32-15 lead at the half, and never looked back.
Sydney MacDonald (14), Bailey Black (14) and Jill Harris (11) were the top scorers for Miramichi Valley.
Shalena Floyd (14), Kendra McKinnon (9) and Hynes (7) led North Nova’s offence.
Players of the game were MacDonald and Floyd.
Charlottetown Rural 75
In the fifth-place game, Hurley finished with 30 points and Steele compiled 25 to spark Rural’s offence. Kassie Little chipped in with 10.
Havenga’s 14-point performance was tops for Bluefield, which received 14 points from Wilting and Walsh.
Rural led 31-29 at halftime before pulling away in the second half.
Players of the game were Steele and Kasey Mahoney (Bluefield).
James M. Hill 74
In the third-place game, Lauren MacEachern (27) and Ryanne Belyea (23) both had big games in the offensive end to lead Amherst.
Corlett (26), MacDiarmid (25) and Emily Fitzpatrick (14) were the top scorers for James M. Hill, which held a 37-35 advantage at halftime.
Players of the game were Belyea and Fitzpatrick.