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Lambton Women's Baketball team ends historic run with silver at CCAA Nationals

A historic season has come to a close for the Lambton Lions.

The Women’s Basketball team claimed a silver medal at the 2024 CCAA Women’s Basketball National Championships in Lloydminster, Alberta over the weekend.

It was the Lion’s first appearance at the National Championships and the first-ever team to bring home a national medal – a historical achievement from the 12-player roster, consisting of Maddy Bishop, Emily Van Hooft, Jennah Taylor, Avery Bathe-Minard, Simone Wilson, Breanna Prett, Legacie Blackbird, Morgan Goffar, Brett Fischer, Maeve Moore, Achol Magiir and Jordyn Britton.

In the Championship Game, the Lions dropped a hard-fought 64 - 55 contest to the host team Lakeland College in front of a packed house inside the Lakeland College Gymnasium.

Following the game, three Lions were honoured with Tournament All-Star awards. Guard Maddy Bishop (Windsor, Ont.) was named a Second Team Tournament All-Star. Forward Brett Fischer (Wallaceburg, Ont.) and wing Breanna Pretty (Sarnia, Ont.) were named First Team Tournament All-Stars.

Taking home a National silver medal caps off a historical season for the Lions, who put together a 14 - 2 record to finish at the top of the West Division standings for the first time. In the postseason, the team secured the right to host the 2024 OCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four, where wins over Niagara College and Algonquin College saw them claim OCAA Championship on their home court.

Their gold medal win earned them a spot at 2024 CCAA Women’s Basketball National Championships, where wins over The King’s University Eagles and the Geants de Saint-Jean saw them advance to Saturday’s gold medal game against the Lakeland Rustlers.

The final showdown took place in front of a sold-out crowd of Rustler fans, where the  Lions never wavered, showing resilience and perseverance, fighting hard until the final buzzer.

After going down by double-digits late in the first quarter, the Lions battled back, at one point cutting the deficit down to four points at the half after outscoring the Rustlers by three in the second frame.

In the third quarter, they came out strong, taking a brief one-point lead following a three-point jumper from Emily Van Hooft (Sarnia, Ont.) with under a minute to go in the third quarter. The Rustlers answered back on the next possession, and the game went back and forth into the final quarter.

Midway through the fourth quarter, the Lions took another single point lead, but Lakeland answered back once again, and maintained the lead for the remainder of the game. The Lions gave the game everything they had for the entire 40 minutes, but the Rustlers came away with the 64 - 55 win.

With their silver medal, the Lions have now earned three medals in the last two years across OCAA and CCAA competition – and already have their sights set on claiming more hardware in the immediate future.

Lambton College President & CEO Rob Kardas, who was in attendance for the championship game, commended Head Coach Janine Day and Assistant Coaches Katie Barnes, Jeff Byrne and Pauline Turner for their exceptional work with the team.

Kardas said it was outstanding to watch the Women’s Basketball team perform on the national stage.

“I can’t begin to put into words the pride I feel having watched our Women’s Basketball team go from a silver medal in Ontario last year to a silver medal in the national championship this year. This group of players, coaches, and staff have created a tradition of excellence both on and off the court. They’ve set a new standard at our College, they’re role models in our community, and they deserve our sincerest congratulations.”

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