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Legere, Chitty, MacEachern earn Atlantic hoops championships

The Mount Allison Mounties won the ACAA Women's Basketball Championship on Sunday in Bible Hill. Lauren MacEachern and Lauren Chitty of Amherst are members of the team while Thomas Skabar is a coach.
The Mount Allison Mounties won the ACAA Women's Basketball Championship on Sunday in Bible Hill. Lauren MacEachern and Lauren Chitty of Amherst are members of the team while Thomas Skabar is a coach. - Submitted

AMHERST – A trio of former ARHS standouts are Atlantic champions after a pair of basketball tournaments over the weekend.

Will Legere scored seven points and picked up a pair of offensive rebounds to help UNB capture the AUS Basketball Championship in Halifax with an 84-81 win over St. F.X.

It’s UNB’s first Atlantic basketball championship since 1967.

Legere also had two points in the semifinal as UNB defeated Memorial 96-83.

UNB move on to the CIS Final 8 at Halifax’s Scotiabank Centre and goes into the tourney seeded sixth, opening Thursday at 11 a.m. against the McGill Redmen.

Meanwhile, senior sociology student Lauren MacEachern and junior biology student Lauren Chitty and the Mount Allison Mounties defeated the top-ranked Mount St. Vincent Mystics 77-71 in overtime to clinch the ACAA Women’s Basketball Championship at Bible Hill.

Down as many as 16 points in the third quarter, the Mounties fought their way back into contention to claim their first ACAA women's basketball championship since the 2005-06 season.

Ryanne Belyea of Amherst is a member of the Mystics.

After starting the game on a 7-0 run, the Mounties found themselves down 20-16 at the end of the 1st quarter. The Mystics held an eight-point advantage at half time (36-28), thanks in large part to Madisen Jennex who dropped 13 first half points.

The Mystics went on a 10-0 run early in the third quarter and led 46-30 as the game appeared to be slipping away for the Mounties. That's when the Mounties started to make their move. Led by the balanced scoring of Emma Hachey and Lauren MacEachern, the Mounties gradually pulled closer as the game neared the end. Responding first with an 11-0 run of their own, the Mounties got as close as 46-41 before the Mystics would score again.

Late in the game the Mounties climbed to within two points and trailed 63-61 but with only four seconds remaining the Mystics got the ball to inbound. The tenacious Mounties forced a turnover and got the ball below the Mystics hoop with only two seconds remaining.

Senior Sarah McGeachy inbounded to rookie Emma Hachey who was fouled as she went to the basket. The freshman Hachey stepped to the line to shoot two of the biggest free throws of her life. She calmly nailed the first, and after a deep breath, hit the second to send the game to overtime.

In the extra period the Mounties used their balanced attack of Kiersten Mangold, Hachey and MacEachern to pull away to a six-point victory, an upset over the top-seeded Mystics.

MacEachern finished with 24 points and was named player of the game for the Mounties, while Hachey had a double-double of 17 points, 12 rebounds. Mangold, who was named the ACAA Player of the Year on Friday, finished the game with 13 points and 6 rebounds. Mangold was 9 of 10 from the free throw line in the Mounties win.

Jennex had 19 for the Mystics and Kate Gallant had 18.

Chitty had six points for Mount Allison in the title game along with six rebounds and four assists. Along with her 24 points MacEachern had eight rebounds and three assists.

Mount Allison defeated Holland College 65-44 in the semifinal. Chitty had 10 oints, six rebounds and three assists in the semifinal win while MacEachern had six eight points, two rebounds and a steal.

Both teams will advance to CCAA Championships to be played at Mount Allison University. The newly crowned ACAA Champions will host the CCAA Women's Basketball Championship for the first time in school history from March 14 to 17.

In the ACAA men’s tournament, Joel McCrossin and the Mount St. Vincent Mystics lost 93-79 in the semifinal to the eventual champions the Holland College Hurricanes.

McCrossin had six points as well as an offensive and defensive rebound to go along with a pair of assists.

McCrossin had four points in a 93-64 quarter-final win over UNBSJ. He also had a pair of steals and three rebounds.

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