The Holy Cross Crusaders are headed to Mississauga this week with hopes of winning a gold medal at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association AAA girls basketball championships.
“It’s so exciting to go to OFSSA,” said Crusaders guard Emma Saganowich.
The Grade 11 student will be making her first-ever appearance at the provincial tournament.
“I’m excited and a bit nervous,”continued Saganowich.
“This is a big deal for us to be able to represent our school and our region at this prestigious event. We plan to show our school spirit and what we can do on the court as well.”
Holy Cross, the Kingston and Eastern Ontario champions, have been ranked fifth in the tournament. St.Thomas More of Hamilton is the top seed.
“I think we have a good chance of winning,” said Holy Cross head coach Kelly Dixon.
Dixon says the focus of this year’s team was winning KASSAA, but in the back of their minds, it was always about OFSSA.
“We went to some big tournaments and fared very well against some of the best teams in Ontario,” continued Dixon.
“We saw teams we needed to see. If we go there and play with the grit and determination that our girls can show, we’re pretty excited about what the outcome could be.”
Holy Cross has one of the top young talents in Canada in Maggie Besselink.
The 17-year-old power forward just signed a letter of intent to play next season with the NCAA Arizona State University Sun Devils.
“Maggie’s our rock,” said Crusaders forward Laura Mallen.
“She’s our leader both on and off the court,” continued Mallen.
“She’s a very smart player and playing with her makes me so much better. She’s always teaching me something new.”
The Crusaders play their first game on Thursday at 12.30 against Sudbury’s Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School.
All games in the tournament will be played at St.Francis Xavier Secondary School in Mississauga. The final is scheduled for Friday evening at 8 p.m.