GREENWICH, NS - One week after claiming title to their own Eastern Canadian Classic tournament, the Horton Griffins girls’ basketball team was successful this past weekend by capturing the North Nova In It to Win It! tournament in New Glasgow.
Last week, the Griffins beat St. Kevin’s Mavericks, the top-ranked Newfoundland team, 72-62 in the opening Spirit Game on Dec. 8 before a packed gym. The Griffins went on to defeat the Sussex Sonics in Game 2 on Dec. 8 by a score of 59-46. The Griffins beat Kennebecasis Valley in the championship game by a score of 78-64. The tournament all-star was Abbie Fox and tournament MVP was Hannah Fuller.
In New Glasgow this past weekend, the Griffins were tested by two of the province’s top teams in Citadel and Dartmouth High. The Griffins opened with an easy win over Harrison Trimble 79-39 before facing their number one competition, Citadel Phoenix.
Both teams battled back and forth in what Horton head coach Dwayne MacLeod said was one of the fastest paced and most exciting girls' basketball games in a long time. The Griffins were ultimately successful with an 82-64 win, but the score was not indicative of how closely contested the tilt was. Both teams will meet again in some January tournaments.
After a game that MacLeod said was closer than it should have been, Horton defeated JH Gillis 67-57.
“We struggled at times against Gillis’ 3-2 zone defense until we eventually started to get some inside touches, in the second half, to break down the defense for easier scoring opportunities,” MacLeod said.
In the final, Horton defeated another top three program by beating Dartmouth High 80-64.
“Dartmouth is very athletic and challenged us with their size and shot blocking ability,” MacLeod said.
He said the key to the Griffins’ success has been their team defense and transition, which ultimately gives them scoring opportunities at the offensive end. The tournament all-star for Horton was Grade 10 guard Mckinley Bezanson.
The Griffins put their 19-2 record on the line when they host Avonview on Dec. 20 at 5:30 p.m. at Horton. Admission is free.