Notre Dame had all of the accolades coming into the game, making their sixth trip in a row to the LOSSA final, having represented the area at the past three OFSAA provincial championships, and came into the game without a defeat on their record this season, including a win over Pickering in September.
But Pickering took advantage of its size, speed and depth, jumping out to a lead in the opening minutes, and then hanging on late as a point lead with left in the game evaporated down to one with less than a minute to go. But some clutch foul shooting by Tekima Millington-Rowe, sinking five of six attempts with less than 18 seconds remaining in the game, salted the victory away.
We had the best bench in this region. We're very deep.
We wanted to capitalize on that and we did. We pressured them and it worked. It's about the girls coming together and peaking at the right time during the season and I really think they did.
It left a huge hole in their lineup, but they didn't quit.
Even down by eight at with just left on the clock, they cut it to one point with one minute left, giving themselves a chance. She's got lots of university scouts looking for her.
And then when the going gets tough, we get Dakota with five fouls, so we've got two university-bound people on the bench and what does our team do? Come back within one with one minute left," said head coach Rose Booker in praise of her team. I've been never so proud of them as I was in this game.
Other than that, Pickering was in control throughout, leading at the end of the first quarter, at halftime, and after the third quarter. Millington-Rowe led the way for Pickering with 15 points, none bigger than the five free throws she hit late, turning a lead into a more comfortable margin.
We had to build ourselves up to get the confidence and get everyone on the same page to win. We knew it wasn't going to be an easy game.
I'm happy I made my free throws. When I was on the line, I wasn't really thinking about anything.
That is what I practise and I knew I could make the shots. I just knocked them down because I wanted to win really bad. We also talked about leaving everything on the floor.
We come, we play the best game we can, we leave everything on the floor and whatever happens at the end, we can live with it. In the junior final that preceded the senior game, Pickering came up just short of making it a sweep, falling to Sinclair.
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