Don't think a small rock can knock down a giant? Look no further for proof than the Charlottetown Rural Raiders 49-46 stoning of the mighty Colonel Gray Colonels on Tuesday in Charlottetown.
Rural used a 13-6 first-quarter lead as fuel to unseat the undefeated Colonels asPrince Edward Island School Athletic Association Domino's senior AAA champions, a team which hadn't lost a game on P.E.I. during the last two seasons and was shooting for its third title in three seasons.
Grade 10 guard Ashley Plaggenhoef and her Raiders, however, had other ideas, employing a stout defence and a sometimes glacial pace to restrain the Colonels. Rural led 25-22 at halftime and the contest was tied 35-35 after three quarters.
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Colonel Gray didn't help its cause by never finding a shooting groove and missing several shots in the fourth that could have shifted momentum its way.
But it was the early edge, which Gray never overcame (it never had a lead larger than five points), to start the upset in motion, said Plaggenhoef.
"That was important part," she said. "It feels so good. I've never been this happy. It really is something we've been working toward for our Grade 12s. We believed we could win."
Gray seniors Jenna Mae Ellsworth and Jada Yeo ended their high school careers with two gold medals and a silver in three seasons.
Ellsworth finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds while Yeo had 12 points and nine boards before fouling out at the 1:28 mark of the fourth. Francis Alverez chipped in nine points.
As for the rookie Plaggenhoef, she hit on 15 points, including two free throws with 1:28 left to give Rural a 49-43 lead it wouldn't surrender. She also was named tournament MVP.
"No, I wasn't (nervous). I just focused on the net and shot my normal shot."
Ellsworth drained a three a few moments later and cut the lead to 49-46 with with 48 seconds left, but Gray couldn't find its range despite several attempts and the upstart Raiders earned the provincial banner.
Rural's Lexi McInnis and Kassie Little each had 10 points while Lauren Reid had six.
In the bronze medal game, the Three Oaks Axewomen captured the hardware with a solid 55-32 victory over the Montague Vikings.
The Axewomen led 29-9 at half and 38-26 after three quarters.
Nikki Arsenault led Three Oaks with 22 points while Georgia McKenna, Callie MAcDonald and Jenna Gillis all had six points.
For the Vikings, Zoie Farish scored 13 points and Molly Stewart drained 11.
A look at the past winners of the Prince Edward Island senior AAA basketball championships.
2015 Colonel Gray
2014 Colonel Gray
2013 Three Oaks
2012 Three Oaks
2011 Colonel Gray
2010 Three Oaks
2009 Colonel Gray
2008 Colonel Gray
2007 Colonel Gray
2006 Colonel Gray
2005 Colonel Gray
The PEISAA AAA girls basketball all-stars:
Ashley Plaggenhoef, Charlottetown Rural*
Lexi MacInnis, Charlottetown Rural.
Jenna Mae Ellsworth, Colonel Gray.
Jada Yeo, Colonel Gray.
Zoie Farish, Montague.
Nikki Arsenault, Three Oaks.