Prince Edward County’s Newspaper of Record
June 14, 2024
20° Partly Cloudy

Crowns for Clippers

U11 County Clippers Ontario champs after dramatic finish at Ontario Cup
<p>The U11 County Clippers are Ontario Cup Division 2 champions. The club, coached by (left) Drew Wollenberg and (right) Hiten Lad, include Lilja Schaer,  Nora Vader,<br />
Norah Lad,  Emma Wiersma,  Avery Carlone,<br />
June Wollenberg, Mckayla Smyth, Quinn Heintzman-Mountenay,<br />
Vanessa Bond, Stella Coleman as well as affiliated players (not pictured) Lola Hart and Elle Kopp. (Submitted Photo).</p>
The U11 County Clippers are Ontario Cup Division 2 champions. The club, coached by (left) Drew Wollenberg and (right) Hiten Lad, include Lilja Schaer, Nora Vader, Norah Lad, Emma Wiersma, Avery Carlone, June Wollenberg, Mckayla Smyth, Quinn Heintzman-Mountenay, Vanessa Bond, Stella Coleman as well as affiliated players (not pictured) Lola Hart and Elle Kopp. (Submitted Photo).

It was a heart-stopping finish — but the U11 Girls County Clippers are now Ontario Cup champions.

The local girls basketball team managed to avenge a mid-season loss to the Tecumseh Saints in the Gold Medal final of the Ontario Basketball Association’s Division 2 Ontario Cup championships in St. Catherines March 24.

The Clips shaded the Saints 24-23 to win a banner for Prince Edward County and become the Cinderella story of the tournament. Coming in as the sixth seed and progressing through three divisions since tipping off for the first time in 2022, the Clippers have developed nicely over the last two seasons.

Coach Drew Wollenberg said the club’s success this season and in the Ontario Cup was due to their high level play as a team. “Their spirit and sportsmanship are a constant source of pride for the coaching staff and parents,” Mr. Wollenberg said.

The Clippers kicked off the tournament with a match up against the Centre Wellington (Fergus and Elora) Celtics. The Clips hopped off the bus to dominate the Celts at both ends of the court and posted a 24-15 win in the opener. Avery Carlone was the leading scorer.

In Game 2, the Clippers matched up with the unknown Collingwood Trailblazers in a physical, defensive struggle. Falling behind early, the Clippers were able  to pull ahead to stay in the second half thanks to an energetic performance by leader June Wollenberg. The Clips won the low-scoring affair 17-13.

A must win

The Clippers faced a must-win situation in Game 3 against the Etobicoke Thunder. The squads traded baskets early until Lilja Schear went on a tear and the Clippers built up a lead. The Thunder tried to push back in the second half but suffocating defence held the opposition to just three points and the Clips cruised to a 35-18 victory.

Having lost to the Saints this season, the Clippers were a new-look outfit in the Ontario Cup finals. Some mismatches allowed leading scorer Nora Vader to get to the hoop time and again. The Clippers were in control for most of the contest and, despite a last-minute charge by Tecumseh, the locals held on to a 24-23 win to walk off the court Ontario Champions.

The U11 County Clippers are sponsored by PECish Baking Co., Drake Devonshire, Oeno Gallery, and Shannon Warr-Hunter. 

This text is from the Volume 194 No. 14 edition of The Picton Gazette
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