By Darryl G. Smart
Addison Csont, Mel Steinhoff and their Delhi Raiders teammates learned a ton from two of their losses this season.
After getting beat twice by the Holy Trinity Titans in the regular season, the Raiders worked away at what they had to fix and rode that all the way to the first-ever Athletic Association of Brant Haldimand Norfolk junior girls basketball title thanks to a 48-38 victory at Holy Trinity Wednesday.
“I’m really excited. We played really well as a team,” Csont said. “We really learned who their players were and what they did. But the big thing was really protecting the key. We wanted to defend and we did a great job of that today.”
And they did, especially in the first quarter, allowing only three Titans baskets, while the Raiders put up 15 of their own to have the lead from start to finish. The Raiders defensive pressure was relentless throughout the game, despite the Titans being able to get within striking distance in the second half thanks to some great defence of their own.
Eowynn Fowler again led the offensive charge for the Raiders scoring 15 points and playing some tenacious defence, while Csont led the first quarter surge, scoring six of her nine points. Steinhoff netted 10, Anna Plumb scored five, while 2, Grace Gehring and Clare Loftus added three and two points respectively.
Teagan Vanrooy led the Titans with 12 points, while Rachael Rogers added 10. The rest of the scorers were: Victoria Ostia-Estevez 7, Aaliyah Hoover 6, Parker Lennox 2, Katie Earle 1.
“I’m so excited about this,” Steinhoff said. “This really was a nailbiter. But I think we all expected that.”
She and Csont said confidence was key.
“We have really come a long way as a team,” Steinhoff said. “It took a while to get to know each other on the court. But we’ve got better every day. I’m so happy.”
Csont said Monday’s semifinal win over the Simcoe Sabres really gave them that boost they needed.
“It was such a close game,” Csont said. “It really got us ready for this game. That game was so intense. We knew this one would be like that too.”