Bolstered by seven players from the Ontario high school champion St. Mary Crusaders and St. Thomas More Knights, Hamilton Catholic cruised to victory on opening night of the 17th annual Hamilton Spectator Classic girls’ basketball tournament.
Hamilton Catholic defeated Hamilton Public 60-39 at the St. Thomas More gym. In the first game of the four-team regional all-star format, the defending champions from Halton blasted Brant County, 72-44, on Monday (Dec. 2).
The final, on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at More, matches Hamilton Catholic against Halton. Hamilton Public takes on Brant County in the consolation final at 5 p.m.
Kia Nurse of the Knights, who played in the game four years ago as a Grade 9 student, led Hamilton Catholic with 20 points. Hilary Hanaka of St. Mary added nine points.
Other Crusaders on the roster are Amira Giannattasio and Christina Buttenham, while the Knights are also represented by Erin Burns, Abbey Clark and Hailey Brown.
St. Mary recently captured the high school provincial gold medal at the Triple A level for a fourth straight year. And in the Quad A grouping, St. Thomas More took top honours for a third consecutive year.
The top scorer for Hamilton Public was track star Naomi Ashley of Saltfleet District. She had 10.
Haley Schroder of Milton’s Bishop Reding scored 14 points in the win by Halton. Abbey Johnston of Brantford North Park answered with 14 of her own.