A rural Nova Scotia girls’ basketball team is heading to the national stage to determine who will represent Canada in the Junior NBA World Championship this summer.
The U-14 Junior Axewomen went undefeated in round-robin play against Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland in Halifax this weekend. They now represent the Atlantic Region for the Junior NBA Canada Regional Finals in Ontario, facing off in June against four other regional teams.
“We had a good month of preparation and if we keep building in the same direction this month, we will be ready to compete in Ontario.” said head coach Fred Cumby.
“We have a team of skilled players and if we continue to evolve as competitors we may find that special ingredient needed to do something special.”
The NBA organized regional competitions across Canada, with the top U-14 teams in each province facing each other to represent their respective regions. The Axewomen faced PEI May 4 at Dalhousie University and, despite a couple injuries bringing their bench down to seven players, made their presence known with a 67-32 win. Vanessa Vaughan dominated with 32 points, with Danielle Cumby, Abby Mercer, and Brynna MacKenzie adding another eight points each.
The Axewomen continued on May 5 with a match against Newfoundland, pulling away with a stunning 64-22 victory. Cumby set the pace with three three-pointers in the first quarter and the Axewomen didn’t look back, holding Newfoundland to nine points in the first half. Vaughan totaled 17, Cumby scored 13, Mercer and Caitlyn Davis each had 10.
The Axewomen faced Newfoundland again in the championship and handed them a 51-33 defeat. Vaughan led again with 22 points, followed by Molly Steadman with 12, and Mercer and Grace Walton with six points each.
Vaughan was awarded the “G Award” for Tournament MVP.
"We came to compete. We had high work ethic and ball movement, which generated our game and lead us to success." said Vaughan.
"I am very thankful for receiving the award, but it was a team effort from start to finish. Now we're off to St. Catharines!"
The Jr. NBA World Championship Canada Regional Finals take place June 15-17 in St. Catharines, Ontario. The winner will represent Canada at the Jr. NBA World Championship from August 7-12 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World, Florida.
The Junior Axewomen represents U-14 players from Coldbrook to Hantsport. They had an undefeated 2017-18 season in the Metro Basketball Association Division One league and won the Division One Provincial banner this April.