Dalbrae rallies in fourth quarter to win girls' division of The Brendan
The Dalbrae Dragons won their first-ever Brendan MacLennan Memorial trophy in comeback fashion on Sunday, rallying from a 28-24 third-quarter deficit to defeat the Cape Breton Highlands Huskies 42-33.
Brett Mullins, of the CBHA Huskies, had springs in his shoes as shot upwards to the hoop during round-robin action against Guysborough at The Brendan on Saturday.
The girls’ final was the last game of the day, capping off a successful 12th running of the biggest basketball tournament on the west side of Cape Breton.
The large crowd that was on hand the game before to watch the CBHA and Dalbrae boys play for bronze didn’t budge an inch as the girls took the court.
Six girls’ teams started the three-day tourney on Friday, with the Dragons and Huskies rising to the top with undefeated records in the round-robin and both winning their semifinal games on Sunday morning.
In the 5:30 p.m. final, both sides were equal to the task, trading baskets in a seesaw battle that saw the Huskies hold the edge in 10-8, 19-16 and 28-24 leads by quarter.
The Dragons got their first lead early in the fourth quarter, with point guard Carli Spears draining a three-pointer to put Dalbrae up 33-31. Spears fouled out shortly after, but her teammates picked her up as Brianna Dunn hit for three and Spears’ sub, Laurel MacDonald, also scored from downtown Terre Noire to propel the Dragons to a 39-31 lead.
Ainsley Ross scored a pair for the Huskies at the foul line, but the clock ran out for CBHA as Dalbrae held on for a 42-33 win.
“When Carli went down, the rest of the girls played tough,” said Dalbrae coach Paul Brown. “The leaders dug deep, understood the mistakes they had been making, and began to believe in their shots, to believe in themselves.”
Brown said winning at CBHA, let alone their first Brendan, is never easy.
“Every time we come down here it’s hard to win. Cape Breton Highlands played a tough defensive game. Both teams played with desire and passion, and it was nice to come out on top.”
Game MVP Riley Beaton led the Dragons with 23 points, while tournament MVP Brianna Dunn scored 11. Also scoring: Laurel MacDonald, 5; Carli Spears, 4; Riley Van den Heuvel, Molly MacEachern and Darcie Wilson, 2 each.
Ainsley Ross was the top shooter for the Huskies with 16 points. Also scoring: Eilidh Ross, 6; game MVP Ali Doucet, 4; Maia Murphy, 3; Keely Shaw and Emily MacKay, 2 each; Taylor Boudrea-Deveau, 1.
Dalbrae advanced to the final with a 47-33 semifinal win over East Antigonish.
Dunn led the Dragons with a 13-point game while game MVP Darcie Wilson and Beaton each had 10. Also scoring: Spears, 8; MacEachern, 4; Rowan Currie, 2.
Game MVP Maddison DeGruchy had 17 for EAA.
The other semi was a little more tense for the Huskies, who edged the Cabot Trailblazers 30-27 to advance to the final.
Eilidh Ross paced CBHA with 11 points. Also scoring: Cassey Deveau, 6; game MVP Shaw and Ainsley Ross, 4 each; Murphy, 3; Boudreau-Deveau, 2.
The following are scores from the round-robin:
CBHA 23 (Game MVP Eilidh Ross, 12; Ainsley Ross, 4; Murphy, 3; Deveau and Shaw, 2 each) East Antigonish 13 (Katie McCall, 7; game MVP Brooke DeGruchy).
Dalbrae 45 (Dunn, 17; game MVP Spears, 14; Beaton and Van den Heuvel, 5 each; MacDonald and MacEachern, 2 each) Riverview 22 (Maggie MacLeod, 7; game MVP Sophia Rizzetto, 5).
Cabot 37 (Jesslyn Dixon, 11; game MVP Julia Costello, 6) Riverview 24 (Game MVP Emily MacDonald, 11).
East Antigonish 30 (Maddison DeGruchy, 15; game MVP Delaney Pettipas) Guysborough 18 (Game MVP Mackenzie Cook).
CBHA 30 (Murphy and Shaw, 6 each; Eilidh Ross, Boudreau-Deveau and Hayley MacDonald, 4 each; Eva Mustard and Ainsley Ross, 2 each; game MVP Cassey Deveau, 1) Guysborough 18 (Game MVP Carla Avery and Kristy Hines, 5 each).
Dalbrae 51 (Beaton and Dunn, 13 each; game MVP MacEachern, 12; Spears, 9; Van den Heuvel, 6; Wilson, 3; Shelby Rouse, 1) Cabot 39 (Soraya MacDougall, 11; game MVP Maddy Briand).
Riverview 30 (game MVP Maggie MacLeod) Guysborough 19 (game MVP Kristy Hines).
In the traditional Junior Girls game played on Friday, the CBHEC Huskies downed the NDA Acadiens 23-11.
Game MVP Avery LeLiand#61520;vre had 5 points. Also scoring: Jessie Daley, 4; Abby Morrison, Keira Doyle, Olivia Hart, Piper Murphy, Leah Burns, Samantha Gale and Becca Clark, 2 each.
Chloe Sonier and Renée Timmons led the Acadiens with 4 each. Lillianne Cormier, 2; Kally Deveau, 1.
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