Three Oaks goes undefeated
SUMMERSIDE – The 35th annual Three Oaks Senior High School Sweetheart basketball tournament’s championship banner is staying home.
The host Three Oaks Axewomen defeated the Avon View Avalanche 72-62 in an exciting championship game on Saturday afternoon.
“It was so intense,” said Three Oaks guard and game star Georgie McKenna. “Both teams wanted to win so badly.
“I can’t even explain the energy, it was so exciting.”
The win capped a perfect tournament for the Axewomen, who finished 4-0 (won-lost). Earlier Saturday, a 32-point effort from tournament most valuable player Nikki Arsenault sparked Three Oaks to a 65-53 semifinal win over James M. Hill of Miramichi, N.B.
Avon View overcame a 32-25 halftime deficit to edge Charlottetown Rural 65-61 in the other semifinal.
“It’s a huge accomplishment for this team to win the tournament,” said Axewomen head coach James Voye. “Especially, when we beat Rural the first game, and it was the first time we beat Rural this year.
“They just kept building off that momentum, and they beat some good teams this weekend.”
In the final, Arsenault scored a game-high 35 points to lead the Axewomen while senior and tournament all-star Tara Campbell sank 11 and sophomore Georgia Baker contributed seven, including a clutch three-point shot in the second half.
“Nikki is a great basketball player and fills the net for us every game,” said Voye. “She really sees the floor well.”
McKayla States (18), Jessie Miller (11) and Aly Greenro (10) paced Avon View.
The Axewomen built a 16-point lead – 38-22 – at halftime, but Avon View battled back and the Axewomen took a 51-49 lead into the fourth quarter.
“We knew they were going to throw something different at us in the second half,” said Voye. “They really like to mix up their pressure defences.
“They played Nikki man to man and it gave us fits for a good chunk of the third quarter, but we finally figured it out.”
McKenna credited “hard work and determination” for the Axewomen’s successful adjustments.
Campbell’s foul shot to cap off a three-point play with just under eight minutes remaining put the Axewomen in front 60-51. However, Avon View answered back and closed to within 64-60.
With Three Oaks up 65-60 and the shot clock about to expire, McKenna drained a clutch shot from just inside the three-point line to put Three Oaks up by seven with 37 seconds left.
“They weren’t really guarding me and I was wide open,” said McKenna. “I wanted it to go in real bad, and when the ball went in I can’t explain how much relief it was.”
Voye praised the competiveness, desire and fearlessness of the five-foot-four McKenna.
“It was so intense. Both teams wanted to win so badly. I can’t even explain the energy, it was so exciting.” Three Oaks guard and game star Georgie McKenna
“For a Grade 10 kid who is certainly a little undersized for the AAA league, and that is not meant as a negative, she is a grinder and plays tough defence,” said Voye. “She hit a huge shot for us at the end of the game that closed the door.”
At A Glance
A look at the Sweetheart basketball tournament:
Thursday, Feb. 4
Three Oaks 46 Charlottetown Rural 43
Friday, Feb. 11
Three Oaks 71 Kensington 20
Avon View (Windsor, N.S.) 72 Bluefield 16
Charlottetown Rural 61 vs. Kensington 21
James M. Hill (Miramichi, N.B.) 81 Bluefield 13
Avon View 68 vs. James M. Hill 52
Saturday, Feb. 12
Three Oaks 65 James M. Hill 53
Avon View 65 Charlottetown Rural 61
Kensington 43 Bluefield 28
Charlottetown Rural 64 James M. Hill 50
Three Oaks 72 Avon View 62
Tara Campbell, Three Oaks.
Lexi MacInnis, Charlottetown Rural.
Emily Fitzpatrick, James M. Hill.
Mckayla States, Avon View.
Jessie Miller, Avon View.
Most Valuable Player
Nikki Arsenault, Three Oaks.