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Collingwood team blazes trail to Ontario Cup gold

U17 girls basketball squad caps season with buzzer-beating finish

The Collingwood Trailblazers U17 girls team travelled to St. Lawrence College in Kingston May 12 to 14 to compete in the Ontario Cup for the end of the Ontario Basketball Association 2022-23 season.

The team was seeded second last in their division, and the girls knew that they would have to play their best if they wanted to be competitive during the tournament. And play their best they did, winning all four of their round-robin games.

Playing against teams from Newmarket, Windsor and Hamilton, the team worked hard under the coaching of Sean Lesaux and Emily MacNeil. Their 4-0 record earned them a spot in the gold-medal game against Canada Elite from Scarborough, whom they beat by a single point two nights prior.

During the gold-medal game, the team battled the Elite’s full-court press, and were able to keep a strong lead for the first half. However, Canada Elite slowly chipped away at the score and, in the fourth quarter, and with seven seconds to go, their best shooter drained a three-pointer to tie up the game at 40-40. Nerves, needless to say, were high. Yet, with an inbound pass under their net, and with three seconds left, Lexi Mason made a quick cut and drained a buzzer beater in an exciting finish.

The team, comprised of players ages 15 to 17 from Collingwood, Wasaga Beach and Creemore, will celebrate their gold alongside their parents, family members, and coaches in the coming weeks, before they take the summer off, and hopefully prepare for another great season of basketball in the fall.