Main photo: The Huntsville Hurricanes U16 Girls (back from left): coach Debi Austin, Katie Fleming, Cadence Dixon, Maddie Flaxman, Cloe Palmer, Mya McKeown, Justine McNaughton; (middle from left) Lexi Evans, Laura Earl, Grace Mitchell, Jenna Gill; (front from left) McKenna Allen, and Lauryn Oliver.
The Huntsville Hurricanes U16 Girls basketball team won gold at the Mumba girls basketball tournament in Markham at the end of January.
The U16 girls have been growing as a team over the 2019-20 season. Coach Debi Austin said, “Earlier in the season our play was inconsistent,” but over time the team has come together with their game play and it showed at the Markham tournament.
Over the weekend, the Hurricanes defeated the tournament host team Markham 29-22, followed by York South 47-25 and Etobicoke 49-34.
Huntsville was up against Orillia for the championship where they played a hard-fought game.
“We were losing 5-16 just as the first half was ending but we stormed back in the second half and worked really hard to get ahead and hold the lead,” Austin said.
The team showed great determination, encouraging each other on and off the court and working together to bring home the gold with a 38-32 win.
“The excitement and enthusiasm shown by the entire team in this final game was outstanding. Even players who didn’t play much were truly excited by the team efforts,” said Austin.
See video from the the gold-medal game here.
Lexi Evans was excited to receive the MVP (Most Valuable Player) award.
“She is in her first year playing U16 and her first year as a post player so her improvements in her game have been rapid,” said Austin.
Hurricanes co-captains Lauryn Oliver and McKenna Allen demonstrated leadership and good scoring.
Coach Austin is hoping the team keeps up the momentum through the IEM Tournament in Markham later this month. The team will also travel to a tournament in mid-April in Parry Sound and then the provincial tournament in early May in Ottawa.
So far this season, the U16 Girls have logged 10 wins and just three losses.
“We are carrying a big team with 15 players so the more games we can get the better,” said Austin.
Good luck, Hurricanes!
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