Crone part of history

Katie Brickman
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Team Sask U15 wins first-ever gold medal

Saskatchewan’s under-15 girls basketball team made history.

Moose Jaw’s Macaela Crone was part of that history on Wednesday.

The team defeated the perennial powerhouse Ontario 52-48 in the gold medal game at the Canada Basketball championships in Edmonton.

This is Saskatchewan’s the first-ever national title by a female team.

“This feels absolutely amazing,” Crone said from Edmonton. “Being the first Saskatchewan team to ever win a gold medal for U15 girls is a very awesome moment.”

Crone led Saskatchewan with 11 points, five assists, three rebounds and three steals in the championship game.

“I felt like a leader and I had a good tournament,” said Crone. “I think this game was pretty big for me and the team. It was a good game.”

Ontario beat Saskatchewan in the first game of the tournament. When the girls found out they would be playing in a rematch, it got them excited.

“When we figured out we were playing them in the finals, we had to show them that we weren’t that team from that first game … we were better than that and we wanted to show them that,” said Crone. “That definitely gave us a lot of fire to show them who we really are and how good of a team we had become over the summer.”

A provincial selects team had not won a gold medal at the national level since 1989, when Team Saskatchewan boys placed first at the Canada Summer Games.

The team included tournament MVP, Emily Dewey from Regina, Becka Hryoriw, Faith Reid and Chelsea Misskey all from Warman and seven players from Saskatoon (Katriana Philipenko, Lauryn Prokop, Emma Johnson, Ella Johnson, Jordan Haggerty, Paige Davies and Kyla Shand).

“Our defence was really solid. They had bigger players than us and we just had to box them out,” said Crone. “Every player that came off the bench and all the starters all chipped in. In that gold medal match, we all contributed and proved why we made this team.”

Crone said the girls stayed focus on the ultimate goal that was in front of them. They remained confident and calm even when the game was close. Head coach Wayne Morrison, who also coaches at Athol Murray College of Notre Dame gave the team a solid game plan, which Crone said they executed for the win. 

“It is just the adrenaline and energy from the fans, bench and coaches,” said Crone. “We watched a lot of tape on Ontario and the other teams. We matched our defence with their offence and we did a good job of playing to their game and then using our game against them.”

When that final buzzer sounded, Crone really couldn’t put it into words.

“It was such a surreal feeling when we won,” she said. “Everyone crowded us on the floor. It was an amazing moment.”

In the under-17 division, Moose Jaw Libby Epoch and Team Saskatchewan finished fourth overall after a 62-44 loss to Alberta.

Follow Katie on Twitter @katiebrickman.

Organizations: Canada Basketball

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Edmonton, Ontario Moose Jaw Canada Regina Saskatoon Alberta

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