Spartans beat Saints, net first season win

Seaway Spartans 32, St. Lawrence Saints 27 – The Seaway Spartans junior girls basketball team Pictured above, Erin Gibbons (center-left) runs down the right hand side of the court, while fighting off a challenge from Saints point guard Taylor Martel. Gibbons had six points in the game, sinking six out of ten foul shots awarded. The Spartans travel to Avonmore on October 4th to take on the Tagwi Warriors. (The Leader/Blancher photo)

Seaway bounces back from Monday loss to beat Single-A powerhouse.

IROQUOIS – The Seaway Spartans junior girls basketball team held on to win their first game of the season against the St. Lawrence Saints September 29th, winning 32-27.

Seaway’s team won the county championship last season and competed at EOSSAA in Perth. Only two players returned to the team this season, Grade 10 students Krista Strader and Anna Henderson. Adding to the team is rookie Grade 10 player Veronica Alfaro-Peters. The balance of the team are Grade 9 rookies, but bring experience from their respective Grade 8 teams last season (Seaway Intermediate and St. Mary-St. Cecilia). The team opened the season with a 47-21 loss to CCVS earlier in the week.

“The Saints are a very competitive team,” said Trevor Thompson, Seaway coach. “The CC game was our first game together with very little practice prior. We were flat against them and made some adjustments defensively.”

Seaway took an early lead in the first quarter, with Henderson landing the first basket after a scrum at the Saints net two minutes in. Strader added a one bucket and was two-for-two on foul shots while Erin Gibbons was two-for-four on foul shots. Spartans led the Saints 8-7 after the end of the first quarter.

St. Lawrence kept the ball in Seaway’s end for a majority of the second quarter, outscoring Seaway 5-3. The Saints led 12-11 at half time.

The see-saw game continued in the third quarter with Seaway regaining the lead. Henderson scored three times and landed one of four foul shots awarded to her. Strader added a two-pointer near the top of the key while Gibbons was one-for-two on foul shots. Seaway led St. Lawrence 21-18 going into the final eight minute quarter.

Rookie efforts added some space for Seaway in the fourth quarter. Reavyn Baldwin landed two baskets, while Brooke Levere had one, and Gibbons went one-for-two on awarded foul shots.

Henderson and Strader added a bucket each to increase Seaway’s lead to 32-21 midway in the quarter. The Saints rallied late in the quarter to cut Seaway’s lead to just five points. With less than two minutes left on the clock, the Spartans led the Saints 32-27. After Thompson called his final time out, the team played a solid defensive posture to keep the Saints at bay, ensuring no more baskets were scored. Seaway won 32-27.

Henderson had 11 points in the game, Strader nine, Gibbons six.

“It was a back and forth game, said Thompson, adding that the key to the win was “hustle and defense”.

“The girls needed to gain confidence and believe in themselves. We continue to focus on being better athletes,” he added.

Seaway travels to Avonmore October 4th to take on the Tagwi Warriors, before hosting the St. Joseph’s Panthers on October 6th.