TORONTO — In 2007, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix hit theaters, the Dixie Chicks won Record of the Year, and the Boston Red Sox swept the Colorado Rockies in the World Series.
That was also the last time that the Seneca Sting women’s basketball team took home the OCAA title.
The Sting haven’t had a top-three finish in the OCAA post-season since the 2011-12 season, and their last title came in the 2006-07 campaign. They were knocking on the door this past season with a second-place finish in the OCAA East Division with a record of 13-4, but they dropped both games in the OCAA Tournament to bring their season to an early end.
With that said, the Sting had several players receive individual accolades from the OCAA for their efforts on the court. That has led to a heightened level of optimism surrounding the Sting heading into the 2018-19 season, and beyond.
Seneca will look to build off last season’s strong regular season and get back on the podium at the OCAA Championships and contend for the title this year, but it won’t be easy given the talent that the OCAA boasts on a yearly basis.
The Sting finished second in the OCAA East Division standings last season with a 13-4 record. They finished behind the George Brown Huskies, who finished with a win-loss record of 15-2. One of their losses came at the hands of the Sting back on January 23rd, 77-73.
From there, the Sting had to play an OCAA crossover game against the Redeemer Royals on February 24th for a spot in the playoffs. Thanks to a 66-63 win over the Royals, the Sting earned a spot in the post-season.
However, losses to the Mohawk Mountaineers and St. Clair Saints brought the Sting’s season to an end.
At year’s end, four members of the Sting earned individual accolades from the OCAA for their efforts throughout the season: Shenice Stubbs, Taylor Allicock, Sarah Givens, and Brianna-mae Clough.
After finishing fifth in the OCAA in rebounding, Stubbs was named the East Division Defensive Player of the Year. The second-year forward from North York, ON averaged 10.9 rebounds per contest last season. Stubbs also racked up 28 steals and 11 blocked shots for a strong showing on the defensive end throughout the season.
She contributed 8.8 points per game on the offensive end of the floor for good measure.
Allicock was the team’s top scorer for the year, and she was named an East Division First Team All-Star for her efforts. The native of Thornhill, ON led the Sting with 17.5 points per contest, shooting 38.0% from the field in the process. Allicock added 3.8 rebounds and 2.7 steals per contest for an impressive stat line.
Givens joined Allicock as an all-star in 2017-18, as she was named an East Division Second Team All-Star following her strong season. Givens finished third on the team in scoring with an average of 10.3 points per contest. Add in a team-high 4.1 assists per game to go along with over two steals per game, and Givens earned her all-star nod without question.
Lastly, Clough was named to the OCAA East Division All-Rookie Team after putting together an impressive rookie season with the Sting. The native of Ajax, ON averaged 6.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game in just over 17 minutes of floor time per outing. Clough made six regular season starts over her rookie season.
While they were unable to break through as a team in the OCAA playoffs, the Sting had talented pieces all over their roster that will lead to a heightened level of optimism heading into the 2018-19 campaign. Clough should see an increase in playing time after her rookie season, and that will lead to more production on both ends of the floor.
The Sting began their varsity tryouts on September 6th, and they run through to September 12th. Their 2018-19 roster will be finalized shortly thereafter, thus giving a clearer picture on what to expect from the team as the new season quickly approaches.
*When the 2018-19 roster is revealed, we will update the preview with projections, etc.*
Look for the Seneca Sting to once again contend atop the East Division in the OCAA and contend for another playoff spot. As always, the conference will have its fair share of talent, and the West Division won’t make things easy for the East, but the Sting will be looking for their first podium finish in the playoffs since 2011-12.
– T. Bennett