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Acadia basketball teams represent Valley at AUS championships

The Acadia Axemen faced some stiff competition from the Dalhousie Tigers in AUS semi-final action in Halifax March 4.
The Acadia Axemen faced some stiff competition from the Dalhousie Tigers in AUS semi-final action in Halifax March 4.

HALIFAX - The Axewomen keep getting one step closer to the AUS conference title.

Acadia staved off elimination in the semi-final showdowns to reach the Subway AUS Women’s Basketball Championship final March 5.

The Wolfville team came out strong to take a 6-2 lead in the first few minutes of the championship game, but Cape Breton held a 19-11 advantage going into the second quarter. Acadia worked hard to bridge the gap and came within two points of the Capers by halftime.

The scoreboard read 52-52 with 10 minutes remaining but the Capers came alive in the fourth quarter, draining shot after shot until securing a 79-61 victory to take home the 2017 AUS championship banner.

Axewomen head coach Len Harvey was thrilled to see the team advance to the final this year after being eliminated in the semi-final round in 2016.

“I think sometimes you have to lose there to win there… I thought the girls did a really good job of climbing the stairs,” he said.

“They played their hearts out.”

Player of the Game recipients Marika Vanden Elzen and Chanel Smith were the top scorers for Acadia in the final, both netting 16 points. Paloma Anderson had five assists, while Kelsey Rice and Katie Ross tied for the most rebounds at nine each.

Alexandra Berry of Yarmouth was selected as the Axewomen’s Defensive Player of the Game. Smith and Anderson were both named to the tournament’s all-star team.

The Axewomen topped the Saint Mary’s Huskies 77-71 in semi-final action March 4 to advance to the championship game. Anderson earned the Player of the Game distinction with 29 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Harvey is looking forward to returning to the AUS championships next year with a squad that is determined to bring home the banner they came so close to winning this past weekend.

“We could return everybody but one right now,” he said, noting that he is confident Acadia will have a solid roster next season.

Acadia Axemen at AUS semis

The Acadia Axemen made it a battle until the very end when they faced the No. 1 ranked Dalhousie Tigers in a semi-final showdown that would determine which team advanced to the Subway AUS Basketball Championships final.

Played March 4 at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, the semi-final matchup kept fans on the edge of their seats quarter after quarter. The Tigers snagged an early lead but Acadia bounced back from a slight deficit to earn a one-point, 44-43 advantage at the midway mark.

The teams rallied to a 57-57 tie at the close of the third, and Acadia had a six-point edge with 69 points to Dal’s 63 halfway through the final quarter.

The tireless Tigers capitalized on turnovers and foul shot opportunities to reclaim the lead with only seconds remaining in the game, ultimately claiming a 78-75 victory over Acadia.

Bedford native Nick De Palma was named Acadia’s Player of the Game with 22 points. Erik Nissen grabbed eight rebounds, and Ben Miller recorded six assists.

The Tigers were the ultimate victors in the AUS final, defeating the Saint Mary’s Huskies in another fiercely contested match decided by three points. The 63-60 win earned Dalhousie a third consecutive AUS conference title.

Axemen head coach Kevin Duffie was pleased with Acadia’s performance at the tournament, noting that the team started off strong with a win over Memorial.

“We played quite well and had a good game against memorial Friday night,” he said. “We played really well, played as a group.”

Duffie said the squad will use this AUS experience as a building opportunity, reflect on the lessons learned and return to the courts next season with the goal of winning it all in 2018.

“We’ve got a lot of key people back next year and we’ll try to get better every day,” he said.


Acadia staved off elimination in the semi-final showdowns to reach the Subway AUS Women’s Basketball Championship final March 5.

The Wolfville team came out strong to take a 6-2 lead in the first few minutes of the championship game, but Cape Breton held a 19-11 advantage going into the second quarter. Acadia worked hard to bridge the gap and came within two points of the Capers by halftime.

The scoreboard read 52-52 with 10 minutes remaining but the Capers came alive in the fourth quarter, draining shot after shot until securing a 79-61 victory to take home the 2017 AUS championship banner.

Axewomen head coach Len Harvey was thrilled to see the team advance to the final this year after being eliminated in the semi-final round in 2016.

“I think sometimes you have to lose there to win there… I thought the girls did a really good job of climbing the stairs,” he said.

“They played their hearts out.”

Player of the Game recipients Marika Vanden Elzen and Chanel Smith were the top scorers for Acadia in the final, both netting 16 points. Paloma Anderson had five assists, while Kelsey Rice and Katie Ross tied for the most rebounds at nine each.

Alexandra Berry of Yarmouth was selected as the Axewomen’s Defensive Player of the Game. Smith and Anderson were both named to the tournament’s all-star team.

The Axewomen topped the Saint Mary’s Huskies 77-71 in semi-final action March 4 to advance to the championship game. Anderson earned the Player of the Game distinction with 29 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Harvey is looking forward to returning to the AUS championships next year with a squad that is determined to bring home the banner they came so close to winning this past weekend.

“We could return everybody but one right now,” he said, noting that he is confident Acadia will have a solid roster next season.

Acadia Axemen at AUS semis

The Acadia Axemen made it a battle until the very end when they faced the No. 1 ranked Dalhousie Tigers in a semi-final showdown that would determine which team advanced to the Subway AUS Basketball Championships final.

Played March 4 at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, the semi-final matchup kept fans on the edge of their seats quarter after quarter. The Tigers snagged an early lead but Acadia bounced back from a slight deficit to earn a one-point, 44-43 advantage at the midway mark.

The teams rallied to a 57-57 tie at the close of the third, and Acadia had a six-point edge with 69 points to Dal’s 63 halfway through the final quarter.

The tireless Tigers capitalized on turnovers and foul shot opportunities to reclaim the lead with only seconds remaining in the game, ultimately claiming a 78-75 victory over Acadia.

Bedford native Nick De Palma was named Acadia’s Player of the Game with 22 points. Erik Nissen grabbed eight rebounds, and Ben Miller recorded six assists.

The Tigers were the ultimate victors in the AUS final, defeating the Saint Mary’s Huskies in another fiercely contested match decided by three points. The 63-60 win earned Dalhousie a third consecutive AUS conference title.

Axemen head coach Kevin Duffie was pleased with Acadia’s performance at the tournament, noting that the team started off strong with a win over Memorial.

“We played quite well and had a good game against memorial Friday night,” he said. “We played really well, played as a group.”

Duffie said the squad will use this AUS experience as a building opportunity, reflect on the lessons learned and return to the courts next season with the goal of winning it all in 2018.

“We’ve got a lot of key people back next year and we’ll try to get better every day,” he said.


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