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Lancers have lots on the ball

BY SCOTT HUNTER HADDOW [email protected] The Lasalle Lancers? senior girl?s basketball team are the hosts for the upcoming Ontario Federation of Schools Athletic Association (OFSAA) senior girls? ?AAA? championship.

The Lasalle Lancers? senior girl?s basketball team are the hosts for the upcoming Ontario Federation of Schools Athletic Association (OFSAA) senior girls? ?AAA? championship. They want to show people they not only
earned the right, but can compete with the best teams in the province.

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Lasalle Lancers? senior girl?s basketball team will host the OFSAA senior girls? ?AAA? championship next weekend. Front row (holding basketballs): Tess Matthews, Stevie Pitre, Sammi Garofolo, Lynn Moffatt, Julie Labre, Jenn King. Back row: Sarah Lazarus, Ashlee Faubert, Lisa Furchner, Amanda McDonald, Miranda Lehto, Katie MacRae, Kristi Bolan. Behind the players are assistant coach Chris Binks and coach Jen Bourget. Aurora Labre (not shown) is the manager.
The championship will take place from Nov. 27 to 29. Games will be played at Confederation, Lockerby, Lasalle and St. Charles schools. The final will be played at Lasalle and starts at 8:15 pm Saturday.

With only two returning players from last year?s squad, the Lancers were made up of a lot of Grades 10 and 11 players. Despite their inexperience, the lady Lancers captured their fifth consecutive city championship by defeating Notre Dame 50-31.

?The city championship was a defining moment for us,? said coach Jen Bourget. ?We played consistent through it all.?

Before they play host to the best teams in the province, the Lancers will compete in Northern Ontario Secondary Schools? Association (NOSSA). Even though they already have their spot in OFSAA, the girls are not taking NOSSA lightly.

?Anytime you put yourself in a position to win a championship, you go for it,? said Bourget. ?NOSSA will be a great test for the girls.?

Lasalle is also concentrating with the bigger task of living up to the host team for OFSAA.

Bourget doesn?t see youth as a big disadvantage.

?These girls have nothing to lose,? said Bourget. ?They play loose. We have high expectations. We will not be going into OFSAA as a top team. We?re excited to be here and we will do as well as we can.?

With the young team, Bourget has her squad working on consistency. Lasalle is a team with solid defence and surprising depth.

?Defence is something the girls pride themselves on,? said Bourget. ?You can win games playing good defence and the girls have learned that. We also have a deep bench. We can tire teams out and we don?t have to rely on just one or two girls. It?s a team effort.?

Lasalle has a general idea of what they will face at OFSAA.

?We travelled across the province for exhibition games,? said Bourget. ?We?ve seen some of these teams and we know what to expect. The girls shouldn?t be in awe of any team coming here.?

Bourget is remaining positive about the team?s chances at the OFSAA championship.

?If they go in with the right attitude, compete hard and if everybody plays well, anything can happen,? said Bourget. ?They?re a great bunch of kids who are keen and dedicated.?

Jenn King, 17, knows her team is ready for the challenge of taking on the best in the province and has a lot to prove.

?We want to prove we can play with everybody else,? said King. ?Everyone doubted us, but we have worked our way to OFSAA.?

Sarah Lazarus, 16, likes her team?s spirit and knows OFSAA will be a tremendous experience for the young team.
?We have great coaching and everyone on the team has a great attitude and wants to learn,? said Lazarus.

?Everyone is willing to do what it takes to win. This is going to be an awesome experience for our team next year
because everyone is young. We will learn a lot.?

Lisa Furchner, 15, is excited to see how the Lancers fair against the top teams in the province and knows it will take a team effort to compete.

?For most of us, it?s the first time at OFSAA, so it?s exciting,? said Furchner. ?We have to work hard as a team
and stay focused. We should do well.?


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