When Matt McMillan, Tim Bacik and Brian Marenchin began the season back in October of 2016, they held three nights of try-outs for the Tecumseh Saints Atom Girls division, which included approximately 17 hopeful athletes. In the end, after extending tryouts by three days and much deliberation from the coaches and guest visitors, they decided on 12 individuals who they all believed each brought something a little different to the table. Some of these girls had never even picked up a basketball, but these coaches have never shied away from a challenge and it didn’t take long for the new members to gel and get the season going on a strong note.
Over the course of the next few weeks, these coaches had their work cut out for them, but they had goals, to get our girls to a Division 1 championship, and that superseded any setbacks. What they transformed this team into, is somewhat inspiring and astonishing. After only 1.5 months of training twice a week, they brought this little team from Tecumseh to a first place finish in the Windsor Valiant’s local tournament, and just a week later, a gold medal finish in the York North Avengers Basketball tournament in Vaughn, ON. As a team, they had their ups and downs, but the smiles on these girls’ faces, and the determination to always perform higher and succeed kept everything in perspective for everyone involved.
All in all, through play in the United States and Ontario, these girls secured 24 wins and only 9 losses this season. It all came to an end at the OBA championship where our girls went on a roller coaster of a ride for their first three games. First came a loss against the 2nd ranked team in Division 1 (Durham City Chameleons 33 – Tecumseh Saints 30). Then, a nail biter of a win against the 4th place division 1 team (Tecumseh Saints 16 – North Toronto Huskies 15) with us securing the win, with a foul shot, with only 0.2 seconds left in the game, and then finally a heartbreaking double overtime loss against the 7th place ranked team (Kitchener Wildhawks 28 – Tecumseh Saints 27). These three games determined our fate, and led us to Sunday where we played Transway for either a 5th or 6th place finish in Division 1.
These girls never ceased to amaze us. After such an emotionally draining day the day before, these girls came to win it. With their game faces on, they secured a win (Transway 37 – Tecumseh Saints 31) to move us up one and secure us a 5th place finish in Division 1.
As parents, coaches and fans, we look forward to seeing what these girls have to offer over the next few years, and cannot wait to see how they fare and finish year after year, but in the meantime, we bask in the accomplishments that these girls have made during this incredible and memorable season, and relish in their joy and commitment to such an amazing organization and sport.
WTG SAINTS, you made Tecumseh incredibly proud!