Panthers quintet fend off Niagara rivals to win OFSAA
It’s been a golden March for Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute.
They added to their medal haul at OFSAA on March 10 with a provincial title in girls curling.
Led by skip Courtney Auld, a senior Panther, the troupe were undefeated in pool play at 4–0.
But it was not without a test of their inner mettle. Head coach Errol Platt said the championship final against A.N. Myer Secondary School was a back-and-forth affair with the game dependent on the Marauders’ skip making a difficult shot to tie.
With the hammer in the seventh end, Platt said he skipped right to the decision to score a point rather than “blank the end.”
It worked as they headed into the eighth, up 4–3.
“[The opposing skip] delivered, crashed on a guard, and we won 5–3,” he said.
The Panthers stole the extra point, but it didn’t matter, as the squad beat the team that had ousted them from an OFSAA final in 2015.
Platt lauded his quintet, featuring Auld, her younger sister Cayla, senior Corinne Hisey, lead Nicole Gamm and alternate Erin Zlahtic. Missing from the team, who contributed to the City Championship win against Sir Oliver Mowat (9–2), was Jacqueline Hisey. She was on exchange to France during OFSAA.
Regardless of the five who went to North Bay for OFSAA, Courtney Auld was happy with the result.
“It was a great experience especially after winning bronze last year and not making the final.” she said. “(A.N. Myer) had the same lineup, and we had a new lead, Nicole, so adjusting to that and trying to work our way to winning.”
The Auld sisters curl outside of Lawrence Park, and having their prowess the last two years has been a great experience. Courtney is ranked third in the Ontario Junior Curling Tour, and won the Ontario Junior title, and both sisters hold the Bantam Mixed title.
Rest assured, the entire team had a competitive edge.
“(OFSAA) wasn’t just Courtney, this was a strong back end, and I have two really strong curlers in the front end,” Platt said.
As for a return to OFSAA in 2017, it’s the team’s goal. Hisey and Courtney Auld will be graduating, leaving the skip position open. Returning with Cayla Auld will be Gamm and Jacqueline Hisey.
“Cayla will move into skip, we’ll reformulate and enter next year with high hopes of repeating,” Platt said.