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(Posted6:7 p.m., Feb. 9)
Atom AA Wolverines strike gold in Mike O'Connor Tournament

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

The Gloucester Wolverines' Emma Jane Scotten drives past a much taller Brockville Blazers player during the Atom AA final at the GCBA's Mike O'Connor Memorial Tournament on Sunday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

You can forgive the Brockville Blazers if they don't want to see the Gloucester Wolverines again anytime soon.

Two weeks after the Blazers were booted out of their own tournament by the Wolverines in the semi-finals, they would suffer the same fate again on Sunday only this time in the finals in a tournament hosted by Glouvcester.

Vastly outsized by the visiting Blazers, the Wolverines played with the same tenacity and ferociousness as the animal they're named after in grinding out a 28-25 win in the Atom AA final of the Mike O'Connor Memorial Tournament.

Thanks to a clutch basket by Valerie Sabourin with three seconds left to go in the first shift of the opening quarter, the Wolverines only trailed by a point as the second flight of players took the floor.

Gloucester would take the lead early in the second half of the first quarter on a basket by Lootii Keri. They then extended their advantage to 10-5 on a pair of heads-up plays by Annabelle Anderson.

She scored on a put back on the first play after hauling down a huge offensive rebound and then she made a picture perfect dish to Kristen Davidson who was able to convert the easy layup on the Wolverines next trip down the floor.

The two teams then exchanged free throws in the final minute of the quarter to make the score 11-7 in favour of Gloucester.

The Gloucester Wolverines pose for a team picture after winning the Atom AA final in the Mike O'Connor Memorial Tournament on Sunday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

The Wolverines continued to out rebound and out hustle the Blazers in the first flight of the second quarter lead by their smallest and youngest member Catrina Garvey who over the course of her four minute shift forced a key turnover on an over and back, drew a charge and scored a basket to give her team a five point cushion heading into the second flight of the quarter.

The Wolverines would increase their lead to 19-12 by halftime on a basket by Annik Winder and a free throw from Emily Gay.

The Blazers drew to within five with a basket early in the third quarter, but a bucket and a free throw by Gay would increase the Wolverines' advantage to eight points by the midway mark.

After neither team scored during the second four minute shift of the third quarter, the Wolverines still had a comfortable lead heading into the fourth.

Sabourin's second basket of the game early in the final stanza would give the Wolverines their biggest lead of the game, but is was short-lived as the Blazers responded with a basket of their own and a free throw to narrow the deficit to seven heading into the final shift of the game.

The Blazers were able to get to within four with a pair of free throws and a bucket against only one free throw for the Wolverines when Gay blocked a shot and the steal to shift the momentum back in Gloucester's favour.

After Emma Jane Scotten hit an insurance free throw in the waning moments, the Blazers ended the game on a buzzer beater to make the final score 28-25 for the hosts.

Wolverines coach Mike Scotten attributed the win to his players ability to execute without the ball.

"I think it came down to really good defence and rebounding. When you play really good team defence and boxing out your going to be successful," said Scotten.

Gay scored a team high six points, while Sabourin and Nicholds scored four points each.

The Blazers top scorer was Abigail Douglas with nine points.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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