While much of the Sudbury and area basketball crowd fretted over the final whereabouts of one Kawhi Leonard, the Ontario Canstars, with coaches John Desormeaux and Denis Gauthier at the helm, were busy on the court, carving out a championship run in Montreal.
The Canstars, a team of local grade 10 and 11 female basketball talent, went four for four in the win column at the 2019 Tournoi Estival, making for a highly enjoyable return voyage from "La Belle Province".
The Sudbury crew came out of the gate on fire, led by leading scorer Vanessa Gauthier, utilizing her strong ball handling skills to neutralize the pressure of her opponents and lifting her team to a 42-27 triumph over Ouatouais.
The closest the northern girls would come to tasting defeat came in game two, with the Canstars needing a game-changing three pointer from Madison Norman (leading scorer) and a key overtime layup from Jenna Walker to register a 49-45 win, in extra time, over AS Québec.
Battling the 613 Spiders from Belleville in game three, the Stars would see all elements of their game come together nicely. The deft three-point touch of Hunter Brear, combined with the interior rebounding work of Katie Pilon and a tenacious defensive effort from Jenna Legault combined to give the Canstars a 43-35 victory over their southern Ontario adversaries.
Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, the gold medal affair proved the least competitive of their four encounters as the experience and focus of Talia Eusepi came to the forefront, supported by a near-perfect outing, from the foul line, for Angelica Lapensée and the on-target shooting of twin Peyton Brear, as the Canstars nearly doubled the Montreal Huskies, taking the final by a score of 55-29.