The Brantford Collegiate Institute Mustangs have gained more ground when it comes to their game than any other senior girls basketball team this season.
That wasn’t enough to get the team to the finals of the Brant high school playoffs, but the Mustangs season isn’t finished.
“Our goal every year is to qualify for CWOSSA,” coach Ron Jamula said. “Once you get there you never know what can happen.”
The Central Western Ontario Secondary School Athletics tournament for AAA schools is being held in Brantford on Nov. 16 and Nov. 17.
The Mustangs were knocked out of the Brant playoffs with a 36-25 semifinal loss to the St. John’s College Green Eagles on Thursday, but the team is still in the running for the CWOSSA tournament.
Because both St. John’s and Assumption College are AAAA schools, the Mustangs get to play the North Park Collegiate Trojans – who were knocked out by the Assumption College Lions on Thursday – for a shot at representing Brant in the CWOSSA tournament.
If the Mustangs lose to a talented Trojans team in the playdown on Thursday, they get one more shot at a tournament spot with a playoff against a school from another district.
The Mustangs’ improvement this season can be quantified by looking at the team’s results playing against the Green Eagles.
On Sept. 27, the Green Eagles cruised past the Mustangs 48-18.
When the teams met again in the regular season on Oct. 18, the Green Eagles won the game 55-37.
“When you look at our games against North Park, St. John’s and Assumption, they are much better the
second time around,” Grade 12 player Rachel Adkins said. “We are clearly improving.”
The improvement was enough to put a scare into the heavily favoured Green Eagles when the teams met for a third time this season during the semifinals on Thursday.
The Mustangs used a strong defence to go into halftime tied 17-17 with the powerhouse Green Eagles team.
Though the Green Eagles would rally in the third quarter to win the game, the Mustangs walked away with their heads held high.
“We are peaking at the right time,” Jamula said. “Win or lose, we are playing our best basketball.”
The Mustangs face the Trojans for the Brant AAA CWOSSA spot on Thursday at 4 p.m. at North Park. The losing team will get another shot at CWOSSA in a playdown game next week against a Kitchener-Waterloo team.