The St. Denis Tigres completed the "Franco Triple Crown" earlier this month, but not before having to overcome a familiar foe, once again.
With championship banners from both the Franco Girls Volleyball Tournament last fall and the recent Franco Elementary Hockey Tournament secured and hanging safely in the new school, the Tigres girls took to the court at Macdonald-Cartier, looking to add the provincial basketball crown to their trophy case at the 33rd annual Franco-Ontarian Elementary School Basketball tournament.
St-Denis went undefeated in the preliminary round by edging St-Joseph (Sturgeon Falls), Nouvelle Alliance (Barrie) and Jeunesse Active (Sturgeon Falls). In semi-final action in Division A, the Tigres defeated Mississauga’s Ste-Famille.
For the fourth time this season, capturing the gold medal would require an entire team effort, with the ESMC Panthères taking full advantage of home court in the final.
With the teams never separated by more than six points and lead changes that occured in every quarter but the fourth, St. Denis emerged victorious, trimming Macdonald-Cartier 38-34.
The back and forth affair saw St. Denis leading by scores of 12-10 after the first quarter and 26-25 at the half, with Justine Tubin hitting a key three-pointer just seconds before the third quarter buzzer, putting the Tigres up by a half dozen.
The scoring, which occurred regularly through the first 18 minutes of play, dried up almost completely in the fourth, as Macdonald-Cartier managed the only basket in the final six minutes, cutting into a 38-32 lead.
Despite being held scoreless in the fourth quarter, the Tigres held on as energetic defensive efforts on both sides dominated the final few minutes of play. Tubin paced the St. Denis attack with 13 points, with Katryna Rogerson adding 10, while Kendra Muffo (15) and Megan Desormeaux (10) showed the way for the Panthères.
The three-day competition drew a total of 46 teams to Sudbury, many from the area and northern Ontario, but also squads from Whitby, Mississauga, Barrie, North Bay, Gloucester and Hawkesbury.
Posted by Laurel Myers
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