The Chatham-Kent Wildcats midget girls basketball team won provincial gold at the 2011 Ontario Cup in Kitchener this past weekend. Early in the season, the Midget Wildcats were ranked 7th in the province by Ontario Basketball, which placed them in Division 1. After slipping to 13th in the province placing them in the Division 2 tournament however, the Chatham-Kent Wildcats felt they had something to prove, and did so going undefeated to win Division 2 provincial gold, including a hard fought 56-54 win over Guelph CYO in the final.
In the opening game of the Ontario Basketball tournament, the Wildcats defeated top ranked Toronto Y.A.A.A.C.E 34-27. Top scorers for the Chatham-Kent Wildcats in the game were Krystine Goodison with 7, Hope Long with 5, Kelsey Nydam with 4, and several players at 3 points each. Game two of the round robin, Chatham-Kent faced Guelph CYO, easily taking the game 50-37. Bridget Carleton led the team with 15 points, while Megan Muir had 7, Laura Polowick 6, and Kiersten St. Pierre 5. During their final game of round robin pool play, the Midget Chatham-Kent Wildcats defeated the Kitchener-Waterloo Lightning 60-49 to finish first in their pool. As a testement to the team’s depth, every player on the Wildcats roster scored in this game, led by Bridget Carleton with 23, Laura Polowick with 6, and Paige Johnston with 5 points.
Facing the York Avengers in the semi-final game, the Wildcats fell into foul trouble sending the Avengers to the line 18 times. Earlier in the year at the London Ramblers tournament, the Wildcats lost to the York Avengers on a buzzer beater shot. This time however, the Wildcats pulled out a narrow 48-46 victory to advance to the Ontario Cup final. Bridget Carleton again led her team with 13 points, while Kelsey Nydam added 10 and Alicia Huckle had 5 points.
The gold medal game was another nailbiter with the Wildcats trailing after each of the first three quarters against Guelph CYO. After a foul call with only seconds to go and the Wildcats leading 54-52, Guelph tied the game at the line. Then, in dramatic fashion, Bridget Carleton drained a golden shot at the buzzer to send the Wildcats to a 56-54 win. Carleton will be playing for the U15 Ontario Provincial Team this summer including the Canadian Championships in Winnipeg this August.
Pictured Above: Front row (l-r) Paige Johnston, Megan Muir, Devyn Demars, Bridget Carleton Back row (l-r) Dianne Robbins (AC), Nicole Green (HC), Hope Long, Keely Bossy, Kianna Shepley, Krystine Goodison, Alicia Huckle, Kelsey Nydam, Kiersten St. Pierre, Laura Polowick, Carrie Carleton (AC