Tillsonburg’s Gemini OBA midget girls’ basketball team ended the team in style, finishing with a consolation win after losing two nailbiters in the recent provincials in Windsor.
“This was a fantastic end to a great season,” said coach Cheryl Fody. "The girls played with intensity and had three awesome games.”
The Tillsonburg Gemini opened the provincials against their old nemesis North Region Crazy Catz. Tillsonburg has played the Catz twice and come close, but never won. Tillsonburg fell behind early, trailing 4-0 in the first quarter. Tillsonburg’s Jordan Oliver broke the curse, putting the Gemini on the score board to close the gap to 4-2. The Catz opened the game up 8-2, but Abigail Helsdon hit two points from the foul line and Hannah Lasook a basket to make it a 10-6 game at the half.
Tillsonburg played a strong defensive game, holding the Catz at bay. The Gemini offence turned on in the final quarter with Aliyah Bailey, Lasook and Jenn Demaree (x2) hitting the mesh to trail 25-24 with less than a minute left. The Catz cemented the win with a basket with 25 seconds left on the clock for a 27-25 final.
Gemini scoring came from Lasook, Demaree, Bailey, Oliver, Helsdon and Maddy Cluett.
Saturday morning’s game against Cambridge Centaurs was a must win for the Gemini to have a chance at a provincial medal. The Gems came out with a strong offence, pulling ahead 8-0. Their defence faltered as Cambridge got on the board and narrowed it to a 10-7 lead at the first buzzer. The defence shone in the second half, keeping Cambridge off the scoreboard to extend the lead to 14-7.
Tillsonburg's offence faltered in the third quarter and Cambridge pulled in front 16-12. With five minutes left in the fourth, the game was tied. Lasook put the Gemini in front, going 1-2 from the foul line. The Centaurs tied it with 1:26 left, and pulled in front 19-17 with 1:18 left in the game. Helsdon tied the game with 26 seconds left on the clock. Cambridge had possession from a jump ball and managed to score off the throw in with 12 seconds left to pull out a 21-19 win.
Tillsonburg point-getters were Lasook, Demaree, Bailey, Helsdon and Rachel Fody.
The loss meant Tillsonburg would play in the consolation final Sunday morning. Tillsonburg again came out strong, pulling in front of YNBA Clark 14-7 at the half. This time the Gemini didn’t look back and stayed in front to win 29-17. Tillsonburg scoring was by Bailey, Lasook, Helsdon, Fody, Grace Gilvesy, Demaree and Oliver.
“I am so proud of the girls,” Fody said. “The provincials was a great way to wrap up the season. The girls played three strong games and have come so far from September.”
Tryouts will begin early September for girls under 14 years of age. Anyone interested can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tillsonburg Gemini OBA girls would like to thank everyone who supported the team by purchasing chocolate almonds and attending the teen dance.