The Assumption College Lions senior girls’ basketball team kept their local high school record intact to capture the AABHN championship on Friday.
Playing on their home court, the Lions defeated the St. John’s College Green Eagles, the defending champs, 59-43 in a terrific game that featured outstanding moments by players on both teams. The win means the Lions finish the local high school season with a perfect 14-0 record.
The Green Eagles finished with a 10-4 record.
“It was amazing, the crowd was great and everyone on our team worked so hard this season,” Venecia Petrella, of the Lions said following the game. “It was great energy in the gym tonight and it’s always such a battle when we play St. John’s and so much fun.
“It’s great that we got the win.”
Petrella scored 29 points to pace the Lions to victory.
Arhyanna Petrella scored in double figures and the pair dominated the game from start to finish.
“Both teams worked really hard and both teams played really well,” Arhyanna said. “We improved as a team over the season.”
Assumption head coach Steve Petrella was happy with the win and congratulated St. John’s for playing so well and bringing so much energy to the championship game.
Although the Lions led throughout the game, they could never get comfortable because they couldn’t put the Green Eagles away to coast to victory. Just when it looked like Assumption was in control, the Green Eagles would force a turnover on defense and score a three-pointer, followed by another stop on defense followed by another basket.
Tessa Sinclair was outstanding for the Green Eagles and played all 32-minutes of the game saving for a .30 second break. Sinclair scored in double figures but also did a good job rebounding at both ends of the court.
“It was awesome,” Sinclair said of the game noting that she had played against Assumption in three finals during her high school career. “They know how to play basketball, they’re well coached, they’re a great group of girls.
“We knew they’d be tough and everyone came out giving it 100 per cent.”
The game didn’t end the way St. John’s wanted it to Sinclair said but the team has a strong core coming back for next season.
The game marked the end of high school girls’ basketball for Sinclair and her longtime teammate Leanne Moore.
“It has been everything I could have asked for,” Sinclair said. “St. John’s basketball has taught me so much, everything I know about leadership, about communication, what it means to be a team.
“It’s something that has been really special.”
Moore, who scored five points in Friday’s final, said it’s hard to think that Friday’s game was her last of her high school career.
But she said being part of St. John’s basketball has been a rewarding experience.
“We’re like family and I’m just so grateful for the teammates and coaches that I’ve had over the years,” Moore said. “They’ve been awesome.”