The Junior Axewomen with their Eastern Canadian banner. - Submitted
The Junior Axewomen basketball team brought home gold at the Eastern Canadian championships June 29 in Halifax.
The under-14 club team based in Wolfville went undefeated in claiming the Eastern Canadian title with a 53-51 win over Kennebecasis Valley, N.B.
Trailing the final by 11 points entering the fourth quarter, the Axewomen used strong team defence and determined performances by Abbie Fox and Claire Belliveau to end the game on a 16-5 run to secure the victory.
En route to the final, the Axewomen pulled out a 47-41 overtime semifinal win over North Fredericton Lions. In round robin play, the Axewomen defeated Sussex, N.B. 50-44, Mid Isle Magic from P.E.I. 57-22 and Square-Up Sonics from Newfoundland and Labrador 59-21 to finish first in their pool.
Talia Boutilier of the Axewomen was selected the tournament MVP; she had earned a similar honour at the Bantam A provincials played earlier this spring, at which the Junior Axewomen also emerged victorious.
Sara Cumby, according to her coaches, “played at a very high and consistent level” throughout all five games, and Abbie Fox, who “caught fire and built momentum throughout the weekend,” were both rewarded with all-star selections.
Coach Fred Cumby said the Axewomen, who have had a successful season, “continued to display advanced individual skills while playing a fast-paced and energetic team game.”
The team’s aggressive style depended on each player “showing up to play at her highest level at every moment on the floor. When we do this, we are tough to compete against and a lot of fun to watch,” Cumby said.
In what Cumby described as a memorable season, the Axewomen started off by winning a tournament and capped their season with a win at provincials and the Eastern Canadian banner.
The team finished off the season with appearances at two tournaments, including last week’s Bluenose Classic in Halifax and Summerfest July 18-20 in Saint John, N.B.