The inclusion of two players on the all-star list was a nice cap to a strong season posted by the EDSS senior girls’ basketball team.
Macy Weber and Delaney Cortes were named to the Waterloo County Secondary School Athletics Association (WCSSAA) all-star team. Huron Heights Secondary School, the team the Lancers met in the finals, was the only other team to have two players on the list.
Cortes put up 19 points and Weber 13 as EDSS fell just short – 44-42 – in the WCSSAA finals last month. It was the best showing for the senior girls in some time, says coach Brian Carter.
The Lancers were undefeated in regular-season play in what was an anything-but-regular season due to the pandemic. Though truncated, the season was an improvement over the year before when athletics were cancelled outright over COVID-19 concerns, said Carter.
In fact, the school wasn’t even sure there was going to be any sports this fall, with the basketball schedule starting about a month later than usual due to uncertainties.
“We didn’t know coming into the school year what was going to happen,” he said. “Usually we start practice the first or second day of school, and we weren’t even given the OK to practice until the second or third week. Even when we were practicing, we weren’t even entirely sure if the season was going to be a go. It was very up in the air; we ended up starting probably three or four weeks later than we normally would.
“We had a bit of a condensed year – we would usually play 11 regular season games, we only played six this year.”
Not only fewer games, but a limited number of opponents, as the board looked to group schools into small, geographic pods to minimize exposure. For EDSS, that meant facing Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School, Waterloo Collegiate Institute and Bluevale Collegiate.
“So instead of playing 11 different teams, we played a home-and-home, two-game series with each of those three teams. That was what made up our regular season – that was our six regular-season games, two games each against those three schools,” Carter explained.
All 16 schools were included in this year’s playoffs, with pods based on the pandemic and seedings arranged accordingly. EDSS met Grand River Collegiate in the first round of the playoffs, a win taking them on to play Cameron Heights.
“Then in the semi-finals, we faced off against the number-one team in the in the other pool – that was KCI. We played a fantastic game, and that was a bit of an upset. Most thought that KCI was the strongest team in the league this year. We played a fantastic game, and we were able to defeat them. That was an extremely great accomplishment for the girls,” he said.
That win set up the finals match against Huron Heights, where the Lancers came up just short in a very tight game.
This year’s run sets the team up nicely for next year, said the coach, noting most of the players are in Grade 11, the same core from the junior girls’ squad that won the championship two years ago. There’s a good chance most of them will be back next season with all that experience under their belts.