Blessed Sacrament, Transway alumni highlight Mountaineer recruits

Mohawk College is prepping for the 2012-13 Ontario Colleges Athletic Association women’s basketball season, starting with the introduction of its latest recruits. The players bring backgrounds from high school and club play to the Mountaineers. They finished last season with an 8-10 record and were seventh in the 10-team OCAA West Division.

Katelyn Arbour comes to Mohawk from Hill Park Secondary School. The 5-9 forward played in the Ontario Basketball Association as a member of Blessed Sacrament for eight years.

While at Hill Park she was the Grade 9 Female Athlete of the year and for grades 9, 10, and 11 Arbour was voted most valuable player in girl’s basketball. She also earned MVP recognition playing in the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board’s All-Star Basketball game. She has also played for Hamilton in the annual CANUSA Games against Flint, Michigan and she was a member of the Mount Hamilton Soccer Association and Gilkson Soccer Club for four and two years respectively.

Arbour started playing house league basketball when she was five-years-old and went on to play rep four years later. Before going to Hill Park, Arbour played for the senior girls’ basketball team at G.L. Armstrong Elementary School in grade 6, 7, and 8.

Mohawk coach Kevin Duffy’s assessment of Arbour: “Katelyn is a very athletic guard who can hit open shots and go to the hoop when need be. Her height and speed on the perimeter will not only cause match up problems, but will give us a lot of options defensively as she will be able to get out into passing lanes and close out quickly against some of the better shooting guards that we face in our league.”

Cassie Brown is a 5-9 shooting guard from Sir Allen MacNab Secondary School where she was Rookie Most Valuable Player in 2008 and followed that with MVP awards in junior and senior play. She finished her high school playing being voted Athlete of the Year.

Outside of high school play, Brown was a member of the Newman Youth Basketball rep teams in 2010 and this year. She also competed for Hamilton Transway Basketball from 2007-09 and in 2011.

Coach Duffy’s comments: “Cassie is an experienced player having played with successful teams at the club level with Hamilton Transway. Cassie can play both the 3 and 4 positions on the court, she plays with a fierce intensity and has a real desire to learn and get better. I am looking forward to Cassie adding a bit of an edge to our team and leading by example with her desire and determination.”

Guard Careena Browne is a graduate of Westdale SS where she was voted junior girls athlete of the year in Grade 10 and received the same award as a senior in Grade 11. The 5-6 player competed for the club basketball team Blessed Sacrament. In addition to basketball, Browne plays rugby and was a member of the national champion Under-18 girls team this year.

Twin Carissa Browne, also 5-6, joins her sister, Careena, at Mohawk this fall where she will take up her guard position. She has duplicate credentials from Westdale where she was junior girls’ athlete of the year in Grade 10 and senior girls’ athlete of the year in Grade 11. She, too, was a member of the National Champions U-18 girls rugby 2012 and played for Blessed Sacrament.

Says Coach Duffy: “We are very excited to have the twins come and join us at Mohawk. Having played at an outstanding program at Westdale, the girls are used to competing against high calibre opponents on a regular basis. We look for both Careena and Carissa to add scoring to our lineup, but mostly gives us the ability to play a full-court pressure defensive system with quick transition. In a word, they are both winners, who play with aggression and tenacity; we look forward to seeing them in a Mohawk uniform this fall.”

Natalie Fisher, a 5-6 guard/forward, attended South Lincoln High School in Smithville and was the girls MVP in basketball for four years as well as the Grade 10 Athlete of the Year. She was a member of the Transway rep team and was a member of the 2010 and 2011 Ontario Drive Summer Tournament Team (USA)

Her new coach’s comments: “Natalie has a great basketball IQ. She plays very smart and has excellent vision on the court. We really like Natalie’s compete level. She plays with great determination and is not afraid to go to the tougher areas on the court to rebound or get after a loose ball. She will be a steady influence and a great asset for our team.”

Porscha Hewitt brings size and experience to the Mountaineers. The six-foot centre was recipient of the coach’s Award at Westmount SS in 2008 and the next year she was voted Westmount MVP. Hewitt played for Westmount from 2008 to 2012. She was a member of Hamilton’s winning CANUSA team in 2011.

Hewitt also played for Blessed Sacrament from 2002 to this year.

The coach’s observations: “Porscha is another versatile athlete who could play both the 3 and 4 positions for us. I have seen Porscha play both on her club team and with the CANUSA Games and she just never quits. Porscha loves to compete; she is unselfish and will do what it takes for her team to win. As with our other recruits, Porscha’s athleticism will add a lot to our team both offensively and defensively.”

Centre Lacey Wolters also brings some height to the Mountaineers. The 6-3 centre from Kingsville District High school, south of Windsor, played for her school for five seasons. Her team won a bronze medal at the provincial high school finals and a gold medal in zone playdowns in 2010-11 and a silver medal in the zones this past season. Wolters also played two seasons with Kingsville Class Basketball in the OBA.

She was recipient of the school’s Principal’s Award of Excellence for having a 90 percent average while playing basketball and two other sports.

Says Duffy: “We are looking forward to Lacey coming in and being a physical presence to our interior defence. Lacey will bring rebounding as well as an ability to alter shots with her height. Lacey will be a great complement to our returning post players, she plays hard on the court and brings a commitment to winning with her focus and positive attitude.”