Carlton girls going for gold at Hoopla

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Adam Hawboldt
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Crusaders knock off Moose Jaw Central; play today for provincial crown

The Carlton Crusaders are one win away from Hoopla gold.

Entering the provincial high school basketball tournament as the lowest-seeded 4A girls' team, the Crusaders showed rankings matter little as they bucked the odds and knocked off the top-seeded Moose Jaw Central Cyclones 60-53 in their opening game Friday at Bedford Road Collegiate.

"That was pretty exciting," said Carlton guard Erica Gavel. "We came out strong and ready to play."

Carlton girls going for gold at Hoopla

SASKATOON - The Carlton Crusaders are one win away from Hoopla gold.

Entering the provincial high school basketball tournament as the lowest-seeded 4A girls' team, the Crusaders showed rankings matter little as they bucked the odds and knocked off the top-seeded Moose Jaw Central Cyclones 60-53 in their opening game Friday at Bedford Road Collegiate.

"That was pretty exciting," said Carlton guard Erica Gavel. "We came out strong and ready to play."

Ready might be an understatement.

The Crusaders started the game with a bang.

Behind smooth passing and consistent shooting, Carlton jumped to a commanding 14-point lead after just 10 minutes of play.

But then, as quickly as it was built, the lead was narrowed to three points in the second quarter.

"We kind of had a little bit of a nap in the second and third quarters and let them sneak back into it," said Carlton assistant coach Jennifer Ferguson.

By the end of the third, however, Carlton held a 48-40 lead and was determined to keep it.

"We worked hard right to the end of the game," said Ferguson. "We made some big plays when we needed them."

The biggest of those plays of the game came late in the fourth quarter.

With Moose Jaw over the penalty limit, the Crusaders were sent to the strip time and again in the waning moments of the game. And time and again, the Crusaders kept their composure, nailed their shots and put the game out of reach with their free-throw shooting.

"We shot very good from the free-throw line," said Gavel.

"That's the best we've shot from there all year."

Gavel lead the way for Carlton with 22 points, while Ashley Kuzma added 21.

Ashley Wilk had 11 points in a losing cause for Moose Jaw.

The Crusaders have a day to relax and get mentally prepared before tonight's championship match. Carlton takes on either Weyburn or Swift Current tonight in the gold-medal game at 7 p.m. at Bedford Road.

ahawboldt@paherald.sk.ca

Geographic location: SASKATOON, Moose Jaw, Swift Current Bedford Road

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  • Wendell
    November 18, 2009 - 21:07

    Great job girls............good luck in the big game. I'm not surprised to hear you were led by Erica and Ashley.