DIGBY - It took a lot of hard work for the Shelburbe High Rebels to stop the Springhill High Golden Eagles when they soared into the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Division 3 girls basketball provincial championship here Saturday.
The defending champion Golden Eagles earned their berth in the final with a semi-final win over Cape Breton Highlands Huskies 45-33 and got past host Digby High Mariners 84-38 in the tournament opener but had to settle on silver honours against Shelburne, who just got by the Eagles with 66-60.
"We're very proud of our girls and it was another successful season. But it's always nice to win that last game of the year," SHS co-coach Charlie Chambers said. "We're going to really miss our three seniors - Emily Moore, Shauna Ryan and Brittany Barton. They've done a lot to help keep the program successful and solid. The trio depart with a bronze, silver and gold medal to their credit - not too bad. As always, the support from the community, school and parents was fantastic."
Shelburne's Katie Locke went off for 28 points to ignite the Rebels, behind 34-32 at the half. Brittany Barton led Springhill with 20 points, while Shauna Ryan struck for 15. Jill Casey and Leah Crowe both shot eight, Meaghan
Moore with seven and Danika Beaton and Kirsten Gogan finished with one point apiece.
Ryan poured in 20 points to spark the Eagles against the Cape Breton school in the semi-final. Moore and Gogan both had five points, while Crowe and Barton had four apiece. Taylor MacDonald had three and Beaton and Casey one.
Stephanie Carmichael scored 17 to pace the Huskies, behind 22-18 at the break. The top-seeded Golden Eagles received 22 points from Meagan Moore and 18 from Gogan in their opening win over the eighth-seeded Digby school. Ryan hooped 12 and Barton 10 for SHS, who got six from Beaton and four points each from Trisha Thompson, Crowe and Emily Moore.
MacDonald and Casey both finished with two points.
All in all, it has been another successful year for the Eagles, who have racked in 11 regional titles in 12 years and four provincial titles in seven.
"Shelburne deserved the win today. They were the better team," Chambers said. "We battled but never seemed to get all cylinders going in our usual way."