Knights take battle of city high school hoops rivals

Kia Nurse poured in 30 points to lead the St. Thomas More Knights to a 64-56 victory over the St. Mary Crusaders in an all-Hamilton championship game of the More Hoops girls’ high school basketball tournament on Sunday (Oct. 6).

St. Thomas More celebrate their championship win at the More Hoops girls' tournament.  (Photo: Tom Spironello)

St. Thomas More celebrate their championship win at the More Hoops girls’ tournament. (Photo: Tom Spironello)

Twenty teams participated in the three-day event held at the St. Mary and More gyms.

More went undefeated in its three pool starts before topping the Oakville Loyola Hawks, 63-44, in a semifinal contest. St. Mary – More’s Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association long-time rival – also was 3-0 in pool play. And in their semifinal, the Crusaders defeated Markham’s Bill Crothers Colts, 62-49.

Nurse, who recently returned from Mexico where she played for Canada’s senior women’s national team at the FIBA Americas world championship qualifier, was selected MVP of the More tournament. Other top scorers for the Knights in the final were Hailey Brown, with 13 points, and Abbey Clark, with nine.

For the defending HWCAA senior girls’ champion St. Mary squad, Christina Buttenham netted 20 points. Mackenzie Trpcic added 16 and Amira Giannattasio had 12.

Three other Hamilton teams were entered – the Bishop Tonnos Titans, Cathedral Gaels and Westdale Warriors. Bishop Tonnos downed the Brantford St. John’s Green Eagles, 62-51, and the Edmund Campion Bears of Brampton, 61-40, but fell 60-38 to Bill Crothers Red. Cathedral went 0-3 – 60-50 against Loyola, 54-27 versus St. Anne’s, and 53-26 at the hands of St. Joseph. Westdale went down 63-19 to More, 57-46 against Brampton Notre Dame, and 45-40 to Oakville Holy Trinity.

In pool play, More also trounced Holy Trinity, 61-26, and rolled over Brampton Notre Dame, 43-25.

St. Mary’s other victories were 79-43 over Bill Crothers White, 72-31 over Sarnia Northern and 72-38 over Waterloo Collegiate Institute.

The all-star selections were: Jaelyne Kirkpatrick, Loyola; Hayley Robertson, Bill Crothers (Red); Giannattasio and Buttenham, St. Mary; Erin Burns, St. Thomas More.

St. Thomas More and St. Mary are defending Ontario high school champions at the Quad A and Triple A levels, respectively.