CHS continue undefeated streak

CHS continue undefeated streak in girls’ senior basketball
Posted on 10/20/2023
CHS girl shoots basketball

By Larry Moko

The Daly twins from Cathedral High School say they’ve improved significantly as basketball players in the past eight months.

And that’s bad news for opposing teams.

With Keira and Nicole Daly leading the way, the Cathedral Gaels captured back-to-back Ontario AAA girls’ high school basketball championships in 2021 and ’22.

This season, those winning ways have continued. Including Thursday’s 62-41 decision over the visiting St. Thomas More Knights, Cathedral remained atop the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic league standings with a record of 11-0.

The loss dropped second-place More to 9-2.

Keira, who scored 23 points in the latest victory, had 34 points on Tuesday against the third-place St. John Henry Newman Cardinals. In addition, she poured in 40 against London’s Mother Teresa Spartans in the championship game of the 15-team More Hoops tournament on the weekend.

Keira and Nicole believe playing for Canada Elite in the Under Armour Association last spring and summer improved their skills. They travelled throughout the United States, suiting up for about 25 games against top-notch teams.

“It was a different level of competition,” Keira said. “We also had a really good coach who developed us. I think that’s why we’re so much better than last year.

“We had a bunch of tournaments and training camps starting in March and ending in July. I learned so much. I loved it.”

Gaels coach Kevin Daly says his daughters wanted to challenge themselves to play against the best.

“And that’s where the best were,” he said of the international matchups. “It was almost like a Canadian all-star team type of deal. There were 50-60 scouts at every game. A lot of players got scholarships.”

Coach Daly said it took Keira and Nicole 2-3 games to adjust and relax.

“They did really well,” he said. “They played a lot of minutes to help their team win. It was a great experience.”

Overall, the Cathedral senior squad has won 74 consecutive games in the past three years.

“This was a big win,” coach Daly said after Thursday’s league encounter with More. “We were excited to play this game. We had only beaten them by five points earlier in the season. So this was basically the game for first place.”

“We definitely wanted home court for the playoffs. We did well.”

Against the Knights, Cathedral raced to a 35-16 lead at the half.

The other top scorer for the Gaels were Nicole, with 19 points, and Beatrice Clausen, with six.

Grace Ammendolia and Caitlin Connolly replied with 11 each for the Knights, while Milania Bozzo added six.

“Everyone mentally prepared themselves for this game,” Keira said. “We knew it would be hard.”

Cathedral’s victories of late have been impressive for one other reason – the team has been without the services of Maya Flynn, a key starter with those two OFSAA squads. She has been sidelined for a week with a knee injury suffered in a pre-game warmup. Said coach Daly: “We really miss her. We’re not the same without her. We’re really hoping we get good news when she sees a specialist and we can get her back at some point.”

All teams have three games remaining in the regular season. Quarter-final playoffs begin Nov. 1.

“Now that Maya is gone,” Keira said, “everyone has stepped up on defence. And that has allowed us to score a lot more on offence. I have the ball in my hands more since everyone is getting stops. It’s really a team effort.”

The Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference is hosting the OFSAA tournament at the AAA level from Nov. 23-25 at the Cathedral and More gyms.

In other games Thursday, the Bishop Tonnos Titans topped the St. Mary Crusaders, 54-19, Newman defeated the St. Jean de Brébeuf Braves, 59-42 and the ACMT Jaguars downed the Bishop Ryan Celtics, 65-37.

CHS girl shoots basketballSTM and CHS basketball playersCHS basketball playerSTM player holds basketball to passCHS basketball player shoots ballPhotos by Bob Butrym/RFB Sport Photography

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