October 18, 2012 Webmaster

Bulldogs have plenty of bite



On the ball. The Gonzaga Bulldogs (in orange) visited the Iona Dolphins in high school basketball action yesterday. Here, Gonzaga’s Jessica Nolevski goes up for a shot, while Iona’s Maria Ivanova defends. Staff photo by Rob Beintema

Most teams believe the sky’s the limit at the beginning of the season. The Gonzaga Bulldogs junior girls basketball team still feels that way midway through the schedule — and for good reason.
The Bulldogs, last year’s Tier I finalists, are perfect through three starts after yesterday afternoon’s 49-25 victory over the host Iona Dolphins. The Bulldogs sit atop the Southwest Division of the Region of Peel Secondary School Athletic Association.
Gonzaga controlled the pace of the game early with strong defence and rebounding. It wasn’t uncommon for the to haul in four or five offensive rebounds on a single drive throughout the first half.
“It’s very early in the season and we haven’t had enough time to work on our offence, but our main focus has been playing defensive basketball,” said Bulldogs head coach Amber Layne.
“They’re mostly Grade 9s so you have to teach them the fundamentals and I believe defence is the fundamentals of a good basketball game.”
Ellen Ougrinov scored 12 points for the Bulldogs, who jumped out to a 31-10 lead by halftime and led by as much as 31 in the fourth quarter. Teammates Jadina Henry and Riel Flack contributed with eight points apiece.
Maria Ivanova also scored 12 to lead the Dolphins (2-1), who are currently second in the Southwest Division. Only the top two teams qualify for the Peel playoffs, a goal that Layne believes is attainable.
“Our goal this year is to make the playoffs,” she said. “I think we’re on our way. We also hope to have an undefeated regular season.”