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Back row, from left, Emily Capretta, Jayme Mancini, Mya D’Arrigo, Abby Entwistle, Trudi Vaughan, Abinaci Bahra, Heidi Nelson and Hailey D’Angela. Front row: Demi Marsillo, Thea Martyn and Tessa Marras. Coaches Tony Sibbald, Tony Capretta, manager Sherri Nelson. Absent are assistant coaches Sierra Sibbald and Liza Sibbald.

Hard work pays off for Magic Novice girls

The Ancaster Magic Novice girls were a newly formed team this year, with most of the girls never having played basketball before. They worked very hard during the year, improved their skills, created great team chemistry, and many friendships were born. They medaled in every tournament they entered except for one, a tremendous feat…but they saved their biggest accomplishment for last. 
 
Due to their great season, they were placed in the AA pool of teams in the Ontario Provincial Championship (OBAs), but entered as a definite underdog, being ranked seventh out of eight teams…and they would have to face teams that had defeated them the last time they had played them.  But one of the things the girls have shown is tremendous courage, great heart, and a willingness to play until the final whistle sounds.
 
On Friday they defeated a team from Huron (that they had lost to last time) to go 1 – 0. Saturday morning they played Windsor.  They fell behind by 14 points before coming on strong and just falling short by three points.   And although they didn’t win the game, that tremendous comeback proved vital to their weekend. 

Saturday night they were faced with a must win game against the higher ranked Barrie team.   The girls came out on fire, and ended up winning the game by a comfortable margin.  There was a three-way tie in the pool, but due to a better point differential, the girls finished first in their pool, and it was that comeback in a losing cause that ultimately gave them the pool victory.

Sunday morning they prepared to face their local rivals from Transway. They had played a number of times throughout the year, most games being decided by one or two points, to one team, then the other.  On this day though, the Magic girls were not to be denied.  Right from the opening tip, the girls played with amazing intensity and finished the game in a convincing manner.  The girls had won their semi-final match and earned a spot in the finals.

Sunday afternoon they took the court against Windsor again, the only team to beat them in the tournament.  It was a see-saw game, and although the Magic squad gave it everything they had, they ultimately fell to the all around bigger and more athletic squad from Windsor.

So the Magic Novice girls entered the tourney as underdogs, but by playing their best basketball of the season, they walked away with an amazing silver medal around their necks and  finished the season ranked 10th in the province — a great feat for this first-year team. The parents and coaches are very proud of the girls. Thanks to everyone for such a fun season!

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