The West Island College Voyageurs midget girls basketball team started each half strong on their way to a convincing win in their home opener Thursday.
The Voyageurs scored 17 unanswered points in the first quarter, and 11 unanswered points in the third quarter on the way to a 36-14 win against the Herzliah Lions at West Island College in Dolard-des-Ormeaux.
Emma Ristic scored seven of her team-leading 14 points in the first quarter, including a three-pointer, when West Island College sprinted out to a 17-0 lead.
“We worked really hard with our girls on offense and on defense and they executed it beautifully, which gave us that awesome lead,” Voyageurs co-coach Cleo Castaneda said.
With West Island College leading 23-4 at the half, Ristic added five points to lead the Voyageurs in the third quarter, when they outscored Herzliah 11-0 to increase their lead to 34-4.
“We’re a very defensive team and that’s what we’re going to focus on,” West Island College co-coach Carissa Tapia said. “It seems to be working for us right now, so that’s what we’re going to continue doing.”
Julia Corman and Julia Ghatas each had six points for West Island College. Caroline Wood had four points, and Jasmine Lim, Camryn Meekin and Brooklyn Elle MacLean also scored for the Voyageurs, who got their second straight win to open the season.
The Lions finished strong, outscoring the Voyageurs 10-2 in the fourth quarter. Avital Sarah Kalin scored six of her eight points in the fourth quarter to lead Herzliah in scoring.
“They got an energy boost or something,” Lions coach Haley Bright. “I think they just started to realize that this is the time to get into it. I told them not to give up, no matter what the score is. Even though we didn’t win, I think it shows that we can still put up some points against a strong opponent like that. So it gives them a little bit of confidence.”
Ashley Victoria Sheck scored the Lions’ only field goal in the first half and finished with four points, and Gabriella Peretz scored Hertzliah’s other basket in the fourth quarter.
“It was the momentum and everything was down,” Bright said. “Once we started putting in some baskets, they said, ‘O.K., this isn’t the end of it,’ and they got that boost back.”