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Friday, May. 25, 2018
Fun and fitness with womens basketball league
by Randy Pascal

In the end, experience paid dividends as the Sudbury Women's Basketball League closed the books on an inaugural season of play Wednesday night at the Ben Avery Gymnasium.

Led by a 36 point performance from Christianne Bauck, Rock Solid lived up to their name, bouncing the Destroying Divas 73-48 in the championship final match.

Graduating Laurentian guard Katie Goggins added 15 points, as the five person crew on this night for the winners also included Caitlin Blackadder, Carla Schneuker and Shelby Goggins.

"It's a really good workout and we have a really great time" Blackadder said, now six years removed from her playing days at Laurentian University. "I'm surprised we haven't had a league like this before."

In a league that includes a wide variety of basketball background, the former Lady Vee liked to stress her defensive contribution to her team. "My offensive game was never really there, so I try and pick the best player on the other team and stop her every time," Blackadder said.

"I focus on keeping the girls in front of me and not letting them shoot too much." Amanda Thirkill answered with 15 points for the Divas, with Cindy Serresse adding 11 as she started to connect from beyond the three-point arc in the second half.

In the consolation final, sisters Lisa and Laura Furchner combined to score 35 points as Balls out bested Let It Rain 52-46. Julie Labre replied with 13 points in a losing cause.

For league organizer Shannon Labre, year one represented the culmination of an idea that first hit the court some three hours north of here. "I used to live in Timmins and had started a league, like this, there," Labre said.

"So when I moved back, knowing it was successful in Timmins, I thought we could be successful in Sudbury." Partnering with her sister Julie, Labre opened registrations to ladies nineteen years of age and older, looking to draw a cross-section of talent that were seeking to remain active.

"If you've played basketball before, awesome. If you haven't, no big deal," Labre said. "It was actually quite a good mixture of girls with recreational league experience, college and university and even some that had never played before. We managed to balance them out pretty well."

The Labre siblings indicate that they are already looking forward to launching the league again next spring, after having assembled six different teams for their inaugural campaign of basketball fun.

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