The Wellington Homehardware/Wander the Resort U14 County Clippers came home from the Ontario Cup in Niagara last month with some impressive hardware.
The girls basketball team took an undefeated record into the Gold Medal game of the Ontario Championships Sunday April 30 and while the Clips were unable to unseat the IEM Spartans out of Newmarket, a well deserved silver medal adorns the necks of the locals.
“We knew that if we played well, if we played to the level that we knew we were capable of, we could go home with a medal,” Clippers Coach Samantha Boardley told the Gazette. “The question always was what colour. A lot of the teams we faced at the Ontario Cup, we had seen before and we knew what to expect from them. The only team we hadn’t seen before IEM. To their credit, they were a super athletic team that played a strong game with a tough zone defense.”
The Clippers needed to survive a couple of scares in order to punch their ticket to the Ontario Cup finals. In Saturday morning round robin match up against Brampton’s Team Breakdown, the Clippers were led by Molly Cook-Martin and Brooklyn Maracle who combined for 23 points in a 32-30 win.
“Molly and Brooklyn had great weekends together with Abby Rumig and Kaylynn Dutton who proved invaluable playmakers –seeing the floor, working the offense, and sinking some clutch baskets.”
On their own end of the floor, the coach highlighted the work of Audrey Maracle and Marissa Hill who were busy cleaning up rebounds and closing out offensive threats.
The Clippers were able to find some late game magic Sunday against Oakville.
Kaylynn Dutton would dial long distance and drain a clutch three ball with 23 seconds left to push the County into a tie. Cook-Martin would earn a harm driving to he net and drain a pair from the charity stripe to make it a 32-30 final, earning the Clippers a spot in the Gold Medal finals.
The Clipper’s skipper pointed to good ball movement and finding the open shooter as a catalyst to a late season surge.
The U14s were 9-1 in their last ten Ontario Basketball League contests heading into the final.
“It really was an awesome season for growth and development in more ways than we ever anticipated. Bringing home a silver medal was certainly the cherry on top,” Coach Boardley added.