GUELPH, ON— With just over four seconds left, and her St. Edmund Campion team up 71-45 on Pickering High, Shay Colley only had to dribble out the clock to cap her high school baskeball career with an OFSAA Championship.
But rather than hang around to throw the ball in the air or heave it up the floor, she dribbled aggressively down court and right into the arms of her coach Nicolette Stewart standing at the bench and presented her the game ball.
Colley finished the game with 25 points and helped set up her teammates for countless more easy looks at the rim, but the most important assist was sending that Spalding to Stewart.
“This coach, she’s like my mother and I love her to death,” Colley said after the game. “She really wanted [to win OFSAA] and I wanted to give her this, so it’s all for her.”
An emotional Stewart said she’d remember that moment vividly but it was her team’s play throughout the tournament that inspired her.
“I saw my team’s strength, their ability to survive adversity, and their desire,” said Stewart. “They really wanted it, they wanted it so bad. They weren’t losing.”
With Colley running point and Yanique Smith on the wing, Campion took control of the game leading 23-11 after the first quarter. Their zone defence moved fluidly and rattled Pickering’s players into turning the ball over.
Colley was dominant, getting wherever she wanted on the court and put her teammates in position to score. Curryl Watson scored 16 points from the post mainly off well-executed passes from Colley and the other Campion guards.
“Over the years Shay’s gone from just a leader through demonstration to, as she matures and grows up, talk on the court and she leads these girls in so many ways and supports them in so many ways. It’s rare and it’s a blessing,” gushed Stewart.
The South Carolina commit and Canada Basketball Junior Women’s team member returned to St. Edmund Campion for her fifth year including an OFSAA title among her goals.
“Being on the Junior team this summer and competing at the FIBA Americas has really helped me especially with training camp and working with head coach Rich Chambers from B.C.”
The 2014 AAAA title is the first OFSAA Girls’ Basketball title for St. Edmund Campion and the first won by any school qualifying from the ROPSSAA region at any OFSAA level.
Pickering was led by 17 points from Rachel Woodburn, and made the game as close as five points with some aggressive trapping defence, grit, hustle, and elbows in the third quarter. OFSAA silver is still an incredible accomplishment.
St. Ignatius of Loyola took bronze over St. John Paul II 51-39 earlier in the day. Ancaster topped St. Anne’s 47-39 for the consolation title.