On March 3, 2013, Toronto Triple Threat defeated tournament hosts, the Caledon Cougars, by an overtime score of 44-40 in the Gold Medal game to earn the Major Midget (Grade 10), Caledon Cougar Tournament Championship.
“It was a tough game. They are well disciplined and they fight. They are a very tenacious bunch of kids and they really go after you,” said Triple Threat Head Coach, Willie Delas, so respectful of the war his team just finished went through with the Cougars. “At the same time, we’re tough too.”
This pairing was the second meeting between these two highly ranked, Ontario rep teams in this tournament, the last one saw Caledon prevail with a 51-41 win.
Scoring was very hard to come by in the game that saw either team score in double figures in a quarter just once.
The Cougars’ Sabrina Landolfi (5’7”, F, Caledon, 2016) led the charge for the Cougars early leading all first-half scorers with 6 points, on the strength of successful drives to the basket and even converting an and-1 play.
“I just found the openings,” said Landolfi when asked about the early success she was able to find. “Every opening I could find I just took it and I knew they were going to foul me. And, if they came on me, I would just kick it out to my teammates.”
The back and forth game rarely saw either team take more than a 5 point lead all the way to the final play of the 4th Quarter.
After Caledon hit the back end of two shots from the Free Throw line with about 5 seconds left to play, Triple Threat called a Time-Out, to both move the ball up to half court and to discuss how’d they planned on executing their do-or-die play.
But while there’s still time on the clock, there’s still hope.
And as Taylor Allicock (5’8″, F, Toronto Triple Threat, 2015) recalled, hope despite reality was just what they needed to go along with a well devised plan.
“When we were in the huddle, Coach drew up the play and I thought it was going to go to someone else and hes like ‘Taylor, this is your shot!’ I my head I was like ‘I haven’t hit any shots today’,” eluding to the tough defense that was being played by both sides.
“But I know I can do it. I know he has faith in me so, I went out and did everything that he told me to do.”
Their plan could have quite easily have been foiled, if it was not for Allicock’s composure. Her head fake to leave her defender vulnerable, giving her the breathing room necessary to let it fly. “I didn’t have the first shot, so I had to dribble around it and find my shot. I was just praying that it went in.”
And of course, she connected from behind the arc, hitting nothing but net eventually forcing overtime.
“She an excellent shooter…a game buster,” said Coach Delas, who drew up the play. “You see her sometimes, and she’s all subtle, but when in doubt, we don’t negate from her. She hits them when it really counts. That gave us a big leap… a big push. It was the outcome right there.”
“The ball didn’t bounce our way at certain times, but I’m happy it bounced [our way] when it counted.”
Toronto’s Kianna Delas (5’5″, PG, Toronto Triple Threat, 2015) continued in the wave of momentum her team received from Allicock’s big shot into the overtime frame. She scored a key bucket and essentially, with the rest of her back court, closed things out for the victory.
Cougars’ Head Coach, Mike Dodig tipped his hat to a team he obviously enjoyed matching wits with, and one he has a great deal of respect for.
“I thought both teams played really well. They both battled. It was a physical game and it could have gone either way. Credit to Triple Threat: They played hard and made a key shot when they needed.”
Not wanting any of his team to take the loss too hard, erasing any of the previous 5 tournament wins, he went on to say, “I don’t take any credit away from my girls. They played well all weekend long, had some adversity during the week and found a way to get things done.”
Already looking forward to the next time they’ll square off, Dodig said “We could play them again and it could be a different result.”
Coach Delas is already looking to their next meeting as well, along with some of the other challenges they’re sure to come across in their pursuit of Ontario rep teams’ ultimate prize, the Ontario Cup taking place late April. “We’re going to see each other in Kichener [re: Kitchener-Waterloo Lightning Tournament]. There will be some tougher teams in Kitchener and we have to be ready. This is not where we’ll stop, this is just a stepping stone.”
Gold Medal Game
Toronto Triple Threat defeated Caledon Cougars 44-40 (OT)
Toronto Triple Threat: Taylor Allicock 14pts; Kianna Delas 14pts;
Caledon Cougars: Jessica Richards 12pts; Sabrina Landolfi 10pts
Bronze Medal Game
Oakville Vytis defeated Scarborough Blues-Hill 50-47
Oakville Vytis: Stephanie Findlay 17pts; Kiana Steinauer 14pts
Scarborough Blues: Julia Kokonis 10pts; Alexa Hall 9pts
Tournament Individual Awards
Tournament MVP:Kianna Delas
Tournament All-Stars:Taylor Allicock, Sabrina Landolfi, Jessica Richards, Sammy Baumgartner, Alanna Hendricks