By Larry Moko
More and More and More and More and More.
That has been the story of Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic junior girls’ high school basketball for the last five years.
The St. Thomas More Knights have captured five straight league titles, including a 64-31 decision over the Bishop Ryan Celtics at McMaster University Wednesday.
It capped another undefeated season for More – three years in a row without a loss. Overall, including tournaments, More has won 22 games this season.
“We’re really lucky that we get so much talent at More and that we’re able to put together such strong teams,” Knights coach Taylor Chiarot said.
Bishop Ryan (8-3) finished the regular schedule in second place, losing to More by scores of 56-35 and 48-29.
The championship contest saw More race to a 7-0 lead. The Knights never trailed, holding quarter-break advantages of 17-7, 31-18 and 48-24.
Top scorers for More were Raquel DiPietro, Alisha Doornick and Natalia Jara who tossed in 10 points apiece. Ashley Rolo added eight.
Paris Lalonde and EllaVanturennout paced the Celtics with nine and seven points, respectively.
“Our scoring was spread across the board,” Chiarot said. “We had people come off the bench and contribute. That’s what we’ve been working on the whole year. We want a team effort, not just relying on a couple of individuals.”
Chiarot said she was pleased the Knights appeared focused, worked hard and put together four solid quarters.
“Raquel is our scrapper and hustler,” the More coach said. “When we need a spark of energy, that’s who we go to.”
Captains Ashley Rolo and Alisha Doornick were first to accept the league trophy during the medal presentations. “Ashley and Alisha have led this team the entire year,” Chiarot said.
The More coach also praised the efforts this season of Alexandra Butera, a relative newcomer to the sport. “She’s somebody who can grind for us and rebound.”
The rest of the More roster is comprised of Julia Andrijvic, Logan Blake, Kristine Cooper, Chiara Genovese, Naomi Ngoblia, Daully Patterson and Jade Peebles.
Bishop Ryan got to the final with earlier playoff victories over the Cardinal Newman Cardinals (62-40) and the St. Jean de Brebeuf Braves (59-39). More received a first-round playoff bye before topping the St. Mary Crusaders, 55-33, in a semifinal.