This is why they play the game.
The Churchill Trojans overcame the odds, upsetting the top-ranked St. Ignatius Falcons 46-35 in the deciding game of the Thunder Bay senior girls’ basketball league Wednesday afternoon.
With the win, the No. 3-ranked Trojans earned a trip to Fort Frances this weekend to challenge the Muskies for the NWOSSAA title and a berth at the all-Ontario ‘AA’ championship next week in Windsor.
The Falcons, who had posted a 13-1 regular-season record and won three tournaments this season, had been in the driver’s seat against Churchill.
They had remained undefeated in the double-knockout playoffs, thus forcing the Trojans (11-3) to win two-straight against them in the final.
But Churchill, which hadn’t won the city crown since 1989 and was the first non-Catholic school to claim it since 1992, proved up to the task.
The Trojans made the most of home court advantage Tuesday afternoon, dumping St. Ignatius 47-40, before walking into the Falcons’ nest and finishing the job Wednesday, led by Riley Jorgenson’s 13-point outing along with 10 points from Amber Bittolo.
But there won’t be any huge sigh of relief emanating from the Muskies’ camp despite the fact Thunder Bay’s top gun was disarmed.
In their only meeting with Churchill this season, the black-and-gold was thumped 39-18 during the Lakehead University Invitational in Thunder Bay last month.
In that game, the Muskies were forced out of their usual full-court pressure defence because of the longer dimensions of the playing surface in the Lakehead—something that won’t be an issue this weekend in the friendly confines of the “Fish Tank.”
Game one of the best-of-three NWOSSAA final goes Friday at 2:15 p.m., with game two slated Saturday at 10 a.m. Game three, if necessary, would follow at 3 p.m.
Spectators are welcome.