Clarenville girls senior basketball team made sure their fans went home happy following the championship game of the St. Jude girls Cougar Classic tournament held on home court earlier this month.
The Cougars downed Dunne Memorial to clinch the Tier II final. They did it with a 66-54 margin.
Coach Don Power says the win was the result of a lot of hustle on the part of the players.
"They played hard all weekend and were rewarded for their efforts," says Power.
Cougars' coach says playing a man-to-man defense and a zone trap gave the team the edge in some games.
The Cougars opened the tournament with a 42-33 win over Twillingate. Emma Howell and Hillary Pitcher paced the win with nine and eight points respectively.
One of their easiest games of the tournament came against Gander where they handed the visiting team a 63-35 loss. Howell was again the leading scorer for the Cougars. She netted 22 points in the win. Holly Kelly chipped in with eight points.
One of the toughest games of the round robin portion of the tournament for the Cougars came against St. Lawrence Academy. That game saw the Cougars lose by one point. Stephanie Fleming netted nine points for the Cougars while Howell added six points.
Coach Power says the difference in the game was the zone defence that St. Lawrence used.
"Most teams that we've played this season use a zone defence and that lulls our team's play. We're much more effective playing against a man-to-man defence. That's something we're going to have to work on as we prepare for provincial play."
In the championship game against Dunne Memorial Power credits the play of Stephanie Fleming as a big part of the team's win.
"She just played really hard in that final and it made the difference."
The Tier I final went to Stella Maris with a 75-66 win over St. Lawrence.
The Cougars followed up their home court-winning weekend with another gold medal finish at the MacDonald's Classic held Jan. 14 in Gander.
The Cougars took the gold with a 67-36 point win over the host Gander team in the final. Emma Howell paced the Cougars on offence with 22 points while teammate Jenine Shepherd added eight points.
Stephanie Fleming was named the tournament most valuable player for the Clarenville squad. Emma Howell, Fleming and Hillary Pitcher each received player of the game honours. Howell also won the free throw competition.