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By Brian Lockhart
The Centre Dufferin District High School Royals junior girls basketball team will be going to the District 4 championship final after a stunning come from behind win over the Westside Secondary School Thunder during their semi-final playoff game in the gym at CDDHS on Wednesday, November 8.
The Royals arrived at the semi-final with a 6-2 record for the regular season and a second place in the District standings.
The Westside team finished in third place in the standings setting up a highly competitive semi-final game between two well matched teams.
The Royals found themselves trailing by five points early in the second quarter when Westside got the edge to lead 14-9.
By the time the buzzer sounded to end the half the Royals were behind with the Thunder ahead 24-19.
When the Royals returned after the break they took it up a notch and started hitting hoops to close the score.
The big turn-around came when Royals forward, Shannon Bury, hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 24 and spur on the Royals to take over the game.
The Royals worked hard defensively to keep the Westside team on the outside and started scoring to take a lead.
With 3:30 left on the clock the CDDHS girls were ahead by ten points.
In the final couple of minutes they increased the score and left the court with a 47-32 win and earned their right to go to the District final.
“We worked our defence and tried to bring each other up,” said Royals point guard Alexis Leid. “During the break we talked about how we had to get our offence going more and run the plays correctly.”
Team coach Matt Barlow said he knew it was going to be a tough game.
“We had huge support from the school which was amazing. During the first half the gym was packed. It's good for the girls to experience that but the jitters where there too,” Barlow said of the start. “In the first half our shots just weren't dropping and we had to stay true to what we practiced. I told them to relax and the shots would start dropping and we had to start going for the rebounds and we did that. That three pointer from Shannon Bury was massive. She's been hitting those all year long. When she gets a couple of those the entire team feeds off that and the entire crowd feeds off that. That was a definite turning point for sure.”
The win sets up the team to face Wellington Heights District High School in Mount Forest for the District 4 championship.
CDDHS and WHDHS have met twice in the regular season. In the fist game WHDHS came out on top with a two point win. In the second game the Royals managed a 14 point.
The final game was scheduled for Tuesday, November 14, in Mount Forest with results not available at press time.
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