NPH Top Performers
- Jahlica Kirnon- 27 pts
- Cassie Cooke- 14 pts
St Francis Xavier
- Kirsten Jones- 20 pts
- Donisha Young- 18 pts
- Vanessa Pickard- 14 pts
PHOTO COURTESY: ST FX. ATHLETICS
ANTIGONISH, NS–This past Wednesday I took in the X-Women’s game as well as the X-Men’s game, it was a very completive contest with one of the best game ending finishes I have seen. It was definitely a fans treat even for the Capers fan who may have been disappointed with the outcome.
St. FX came out of the gate with pressure defense and jumped on Cape Breton right away by taking a 6-0 lead. This cushion maintained throughout most of the quarter through strong half court offense and a steady dose of post Donisha Young, who Cape Breton did not have an answer for.
Cape Breton continued to try and disrupt X’s Freshman point guard Vanessa Pickard but she was rock solid and got her team what they wanted most trips and maintained the six point bulge as the teams exchanged baskets.
With four minutes remaining, CBU subbed four starters and the benches energy gave Cape Breton a 9-5 run to end the quarter and closed the gap to a 20-17 score for X.
The second quarter continued along the same script with a flurry of play. Anne Kiberd kept making timely shots to maintain the X lead. Tanira McClurkin’s quickness started to disrupt Pickard getting two steals in a 3 minute span, and CBU fed off the energy and the team dug down behind her defensively.
At the 5:10 second mark, Jahlica Kirnon’s and-one play gave Cape Breton their first lead of the game. Defense continued to be the name of the game for both teams and with three minutes left CBU went on a 5-0 mini run to take their lead to 33-28. Anne Kiberd closed the half with back to back triples to give X the 34-33 edges at the half.
Cape Breton opened the third quarter with a 10-4 run to take a 43-38 lead with six minutes remaining. Over the next three minutes the game is controlled by both teams’ defenses and is marred by turnovers with CBU maintaining the lead at 47-43.
X opens the fourth with a three and narrows the margin to one. At 8:18 in the fourth Spencer Lockhart for X goes down with an ankle injury, which seems to affect X. CBU’s defense swarms them and they push the lead to six again off a sweet back door dish by Cassie Cooke chasing X into a timeout.
After a turnover, CBU extends the lead to 63-55 on a pull up by Jahlica Kirnon. Just as it appears CBU has taken control of the game with 11 point gap and four minutes left, freshman guard Vanessa Pickard takes over by making a three, a jump shot and a couple of free throws which helped X get back in the game trailing 69-68 with under a minute left.
With 15 seconds left and X down one, starting centre Donisha Young rips the defensive board and rumbles coast to coast for the lay-up and the lead. On the side inbounds with seven seconds left, Jahlica Kirnon catches in the right corner rips and scores off the drive with a beautiful reverse lay-up leaving three seconds on the clock.
Out of the X timeout, forward Kirsten Jones received the ball above the left elbow, takes three hard dribbles left and nails the pull up with one second on the clock. St. Francis Xavier wins 72-71 and Jones receives player of the game!