Knights off to CWOSSA tomorrow

KDSS loses in BAA semi-final at home

By Josh Howald

Despite a heartbreaking loss in the Bluewater Athletic Association semi-final contest, the Kincardine District Secondary School senior girls basketball team is off to the CWOSSA tournament tomorrow (Thursday).

Eartha Phorson jumps to block a shot from an OSCVI player last week during the BAA semi-final game between Kincardine and the Falcons. (Josh Howald photo)

Since KDSS was reclassified from a AA/AAA school to a A/AA school (due to enrolment), the Knights easily qualified for the CWOSSA A tournament, being hosted by Peninsula Shores District School tomorrow. They were guaranteed a spot at tomorrow's tournament, basically, by finishing higher than the Chesley District High School Cougars. In fact, KDSS is the #1 seed at tomorrow's tourney.

That isn't the way Kincardine wanted to go into CWOSSA. After an undefeated regular season, the Knights had hopes of winning a BAA championship banner. Those hopes came to an end in their own gymnasium last Wednesday afternoon.

"Any time you lose by only one point it is pretty crushing," said KDSS coach Vince Yenssen. "But I thought we played exceptional. All the girls stepped up and we fought right from the tip through to the last buzzer."

It didn't help that Andrea Plagos, a key player to say the least for Kincardine, was watching from the sidelines on crutches. Plagos rolled her ankle earlier in the playoffs, and is hoping to return to the line-up for tomorrow's CWOSSA tourney.

In any event, the Knights hosted the BAA Final Four, and drew the OSCVI Falcons in a semi-final contest. The Falcons, from Owen Sound, used a distinct height advantage to control the boards in the first half. Kincardine went 0-for-6 from the foul line, and trailed 9-4 at the half. Jorie Elliott and Charlotte Bate each had a bucket.

It was 13-8 for the Falcons when the Knights decided to make a game of things. A big defensive rebound by K. MacDonald and a quick-up the floor brought KDSS within three. and the Knights made it 13-12 with a couple of big free throws from Bethany Wilken. OSCVI, however, stretched the lead to 19-14 and poor foul shooting and some costly turnovers prevented the Knights from doing anything but threatening. A late basket made it 19-18, and that is how it ended.

OSCVI advanced to the BAA final - which has yet to be played. In what can be described only as a mess, the Walkerton District Community School Riverhawks and the St. Mary's High School Mustangs refused to play in the other semi-final game. A number of issues were apparently at play, with league dues, referee fees and essentially a clash of coaching personalities all to blame. OSCVI will, however, compete at this week's CWOSSA AA/AAA tournament, as will the SMHS Mustangs, who are hosting the event today (Wednesday) in Owen Sound.

As mentioned, the Knights do hold the #1 seed at tomorrow's CWOSSA A tournament. Yenssen and his squad are hoping Plagos will be ready to go for tomorrow.

"We can still realize our dream of going to OFSAA," he said.

The KDSS juniors, meanwhile are also seeded #1 at the CWOSSA tourney. They knocked off PSDS in an overtime thriller, scoring a buzzer beater to tie the Phoenix in a qualifying game before winning in overtime.

In other BAA news, the KDSS senior boys volleyball team was eliminated from the BAA playoffs after being dumped 3-1 by the Saugeen District Secondary School Royals. The juniors, meanwhile, were swept 3-0 by SDSS. Sacred Heart went on to eventually win the senior boys BAA title with a 3-2 win over West Hill Secondary School of Owen Sound.

In BAA football action, St. Mary's High School defeated cross-town rival OSCVI by a touchdown. The Mustangs took a 34-27 win over the OCSVI Falcons.