The 2014-15 Atlantic University Sports Championship go this weekend in Halifax and as the season draws to a close, the biggest victory is not the Champion that will be crowned.
The biggest victory on Thursday February 6 will be when they throw the ball up for the opening game tip off between Cape Breton and Memorial. Yes the games will be played in “The Big Venue” – The Scotia Bank Centre and will run in conjunction with the AUS Men’s Championship Tournament. The exposure for these players and how hard they compete will be on an equal footing to men’s sport, which will propel East coast women’s basketball.
Several factors went into making this happen but the most commendable is that Acadia gave up their hosting right and automatic birth. Simply stated, “it was done because it will help the women’s game,” said retiring Coach and Nova Scotia basketball icon Bev Greenlaw.
Now that we have stated what a historic moment this weekend will be lets look at the games at hand.
6:00pm #4 Cape Breton Capers vs #5 Memorial Seahawks
In a first round match up that puts two long time coaches (Fabian MacKenzie, CBU and Doug Partridge, MUN) against each other the tournament is tipping off with a greater bang and an intense rivalry.
The Capers hold a 3-1 series edge on the season and managed to show more progression as the season went on winning their last game on January 12 against Memorial 61-45. Look for versitile forward and Cape Breton native Alison Keough to lead the way for the Capers.
Coach Partridge will have his team primed and ready to go–look for 4th year guard Megan Robinson of Waterloo Ontario to lead a very balanced attack for the seahawks.
8:30pm #3 UPEI Panthers vs #6 UNB Varsity Reds
First year head coach Mark English has done an excellent job of continuing the progression of a very good UPEI women’s program and look to build on last years playoff experience.
Having watched the Panthers play this past weekend I can say one thing, they go right at their opponents. With a 2-0 record over UNB in the regular season and with a 69-52 win on on February 14th you can expect the 13-7 Panthers to be favorites in this game.
However the 8-12 Varsity Reds are no slouch and also display an aggressive and physical style of play. You can expect veteran coach Jeff Speedy to have his team ready and hungry for the upset.
#1 Saint Mary’s awaits the winner of SMU and MUN with the semi final being Saturday February 28 at 12:00.
#2 Dalhousie awaits the winner of UPEI/UNB with the semi final being being Saturday February 28 at 2:15pm.
NBIAA Provincial Championship results.
NBIAA Women’s A Division John Caldwell High School defeated the Grand Manan Breakers 63-39.
Guard Kaylyn Toner led the John Caldwell with 25pts and 7asts, and Olivia McClure 13pts led their team to a 21-12 lead after the first quarter and never looked back. Alexis Liston and Zoey Middleton scored 18 and 10 respectively as Grand Manan battled throughout but couldn’t manage to slow down a determined John Caldwell team.
NBIAA Women’s AA Division– the Woodstock women won the first of the school provincial banners on Friday night with a 74-53 win over James M Hill.
Kyla Carr lead the Thunder with 19pts and 11rebs; Sandy Saunders helped out with 11pts and 11rebs as Woodstock overcame a 7-point deficit after one quarter.
The Tommies fought early in the second quarter but the Thunder pounded the glass and outscored the Tommies 29-10 in the decisive frame. Katie Cortlet had 15 for Jame M Hill and Alexis Despres and Emily Fitzpatrick contributed 12 apiece.
NBIAA Women’s AAA Division the Bernice MacNaughton Highlanders cut down the mesh with a 63-54 win over the Sussex Sonics.
In contrasting styles, MacNaughton won out as they attacked the paint and paraded to the free throw line 31 times and outscored the Sonics 17-11 at the charity stripe.
Karina May was in beast mode for the Highlanders dropping in 20pts and grabbing 14 boards. Courtney Bulman also feasted on the Sonics going 11/13 from the FT line and scoring 19pts on 8 shots. Bulman also grabbed 9 boards.
Leading the way for the Sonics was Kennedy Baird with 18 and Lauren Flemming with 10.