The Saints Go Marching In
(SAINTE-FOY, QC) – The St. Clair Saints women’s basketball team are in the 2019 Canadian Collegiate National Championships in Sainte-Foy, QC. St. Clair ended up with a 12-8 record, finished fourth in the West Division and after beating Seneca, Algonquin, and Durham in the regional tournament, they got their first OCAA medal in five years (winning bronze back in 2014). Even though the lady Saints lost to the Fanshawe Falcons in the final round of the OCAA championships, their silver medal finish qualified them to play in the nationals.
The women averaged the most steals and the least turnovers per game (14.2 and 13 per game respectively) and averaged the second best points per game (73.2) in the league.
Despite facing some injuries midway through the season, coach Andy Kiss and company were able to power through it all. Now, they’ve moved on to the big stage. For those who will be rooting on the the green and gold for their quest for national gold, here are some players to watch during this championship week.
The lady Saints showed a balanced display of offence and defence and Anna Ulicny is no exception. She finished her second year averaging 15 points, four rebounds and three assists per game. No stranger to the shots beyond the arc, Anna finished fourth in the OCAA for three-point daggers (53). She also converted that effort on the defensive end where she ended up third in total steals (63).
Near the end of the season, the Saints needed a key presence in the paint. Good news, they got it when Kim Moroun joined the team. With a strong mid to low post game, the former Windsor Lancer’s ability to drive, force steals (3 per game, led the team) and grab rebounds (6.3 per game, tied for second on the team) was a sigh of relief for the roster.
With Moroun crashing the boards for the frontcourt, Keirsten Thompkins proved the guards could follow suit. The OCAA West Division Rookie of the Year averaged close to eight points per game and led the team in rebounds with nearly seven of them. With her starting 21 of 24 games, she displayed the great ability to close out and open up scoring opportunities for her teammates.
How about Noor Bazzi? Another first year whose skills you can’t igNOOR. Coming off the bench, this Massey Mustang and Windsor Valliant alumni showed no hesitation to score (9.6 points per game, fourth in team scoring) and hustled at both ends of the floor. Noor’s speed helped draw great defensive pressure and it led to good looks on transition. Loose ball? Look out. Think you have a chance down the lane? Well, think again.
We also have the Kucera twins rounding out the players to watch.
We begin with Logan Kucera, a member of last year’s all-rookie team of the West Division. She moves the ball well, has great ball awareness and is an all around scorer. Even though a clavicle injury had her sidelined for seven games, she returned just in time for the Saints remarkable playoff run. She finished the year averaging 10 points, five rebounds and three assists per game.
Jana Kucera, like her sister, scores all over, has great ball vision and she finishes strong at the basket. Jana captured the OCAA scoring championship after averaging 21.1 points per game. She had five double-double games and six games this year where she scored 25 points or more.
The CCAA National Championships are running until tomorrow. This will mark St. Clair’s second trip to the national championship since hosting the event back in 2016.