ETOBICOKE, ON. – Meeting in the semi-finals this year after battling for the gold medal the past three seasons, the No. 1 Humber Hawks women's basketball team (20-0, 1st West) and the Mohawk Mountaineers (17-3, 3rd West) squared off Saturday evening at the Humber Athletic Centre, where the Hawks mowed down the Mountaineers 91-65 and advanced to the gold medal match for the fourth straight year.
With Ceejay Nofuente opening the scoring, the Hawks took the game's first lead before falling behind by two. Going on a scoring spree, the Hawks erupted to score 16 consecutive points. Outscoring the Mountaineers 25-2 through the remainder of the first, the Hawks took a 27-6 lead into the second. Nofuente led the Hawks during the first with seven points and recorded two steals.
The Hawks did not let up in the second quarter, despite an inspired Mountaineers team ramping up their offensive pressure. Cranking out another 23 points, capped off by a Jahnae Gyles three-point shot at the end of the quarter, the Hawks padded their lead by five, pulling ahead of the Mountaineers by 26 points. The Hawks shot 46.3 per cent (19-of-41) from the field during the first half and made 41.7 per cent (5-of-12) of their three-point attempts. Both Gyles and Aleena Domingo had eight points for the Hawks in the second.
In the third quarter the Hawks were forced to defend their lead from a Mountaineers resurgence. While the Hawks would have another strong quarter offensively, they were outscored by two points in the third, but still maintained a strong lead entering the final quarter. Leticia Lopez scored two three-point shots and had eight points to lead the Hawks in the third, and Nofuente recorded four rebounds and three assists.
Erasing any fears of a Mountaineers comeback, the Hawks put the pressure back on, dominating for much of the fourth quarter. Taking back the two points they had lost after the third quarter, the Hawks finished ahead of the Mountaineers by 26 points, winning the match 91-65 and moving on to the championship finals. Domingo took charge in the fourth with six points and four rebounds, and Nofuente added four more points to her total.
The Hawks finished shooting 44.6 per cent (37-of-83) from the field, made 31 per cent (9-of-29) of their three-point attempts, and went 72.7 per cent (8-of-11) from the free throw line. The Saints, comparatively, shot 32.1 per cent (25-of-78) from the field.
Nofuente, with 15 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double, was named the Player of the Game for Humber. Domingo also had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, Gyles recorded 19 points, and Miea Campbell-Johnson scored 11.
Jasmina Kucic led the Mountaineers with 15 points and was named the Player of the Game for Mohawk. Shaylee Doxtator and Stef Hrymak had 14 and 13 points each for the Mountaineers.
With their semi-final round victory, the Hawks advance to their fourth-straight gold medal match, where they will play either the Fanshawe Falcons (17-3, 2nd West) or the Niagara Knights (14-6, 4th West). Tip-off time is scheduled for 5 p.m. Sunday.