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Merrissa Moore (22) earned player of the game honours, after a 15-point, 13-rebound double double performance vs. the Durham Lords.

In the words of Huskies guard Krystal-Ann Elento, "This was business, and we had to take care of it."

George Brown's women's basketball team bounced back in a big way at the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) Championship, defeating the Durham Lords for the fourth time this season in a dominant 92-74 performance.

Inversing Friday's loss, the first quarter against Durham was this game's most competitive. Just as George Brown seemed to be running away with things, the Lords went on a nine-point run to cap the quarter. In the frame's final 43 seconds, a 32-20 Huskies lead was narrowed to just 32-29.

Saturday's turning point came in the second quarter, a turning point defined by what didn't happen.

Facing down Durham's newfound momentum, the Huskies didn't freeze. They didn't panic, and they didn't play tight. What they did was play their game.

George Brown kept pounding the rock, and were rewarded by winning the second quarter. Posting a seven-point gap in the frame, the Huskies carried a 55-45 advantage into halftime, essential separation against an always scrappy Lords squad.

Most importantly, they had stymied Durham's push, a crucial stop not limited to any single play but the quarter as a whole. It was a team effort at that, with four Huskies featuring double-digit point totals at the half.

From there, George Brown took off and never looked back. Despite a dip in field goal shooting percentage, the team continued to pad its lead. GBC would win the third quarter 16-9, including an 11-1 Huskies run lasting nearly three minutes towards the end of the period.

Though the final 10 minutes were a more back and forth affair, the game's result felt as foregone as the scoreboard suggested. By the final buzzer, George Brown would notch its latest win, final score 92-74.

The day ended with five Huskies breaking double-digits. Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association All-Canadian Tianna Sullivan racked up 27 points, whereas Aprille Deus and Sherral Wilson had 12 apiece, with Deus's impressive stat line also highlighted by eight rebounds, six assists and six steals.

Meanwhile, Merrissa Moore's 15-point, 13-rebound double double earned the OCAA East Division All-Rookie player of the game honours.

"Even though Merrissa feels that she gets nervous and tight, when I see her on the floor, she looks unflappable," lauded Huskies head coach Warren Williams. "I like that she can play through mistakes. It's going to be a learning process for her, but she's a terrific kid and a terrific player with a very bright future at George Brown."

When told of her coach's praise, Moore herself steered the conversation to the importance of what goes on between the ears. In particular, the Huskies guard-forward touched upon how a change in outlook has helped her game find success even when the points are hard to come by.

"I used to get into this mindset where if my shots aren't dropping, then my whole game is scrapped, I'll wait till the next game," said Moore. "But recently, I've realized that there's so many more aspects to basketball.

"I can grab rebounds, I can hustle, I can help on D, steals, whatever I can do to contribute. So if my shots aren't dropping, I now have that mindset of, 'I've got to do something else. I've got to find whatever I can to contribute.' That's it," Moore smiled.

In the aftermath of Friday's loss to Niagara, Williams spoke of RALF: Recognizing that we made a mistake; Admitting that we made a mistake; Learning from it; and finally, Forgetting about it and moving on.

Assessing his team's performance, Williams didn't hold back, stating that George Brown had executed RALF "to perfection."

"We took our lumps yesterday, and we took a little criticism, I think rightfully so," Williams said. "When the moment came, we weren't quite ready for it. It's part of the process, you're going to go through a bit of that. But I believe that today, we did a really good job of learning from yesterday, and then forgetting about it, moving on and playing."

While they may be physically present, not every team shows up for the consolation bracket. But with a strong leadership core including but certainly not limited to Deus and Sullivan, the smart money was always on these Huskies coming to play on Saturday. If the game was a test of character, it's safe to say that George Brown passed with flying colours.

Another member of that core is Krystal-Ann Elento, who with 10 points was GBC's fifth player to crack double-digits. An athlete who embodies the classic illustration of leading by example, Williams made a point of naming her in his post-game evaluation.

"She's one who won hoops today because her effort, her energy is just boundless," extolled Williams. "She just keeps playing, and I admire that so much. I admire a person that can just keep playing no matter what. Whether there's contact or a foul or a call that went against us, she did a great job of playing through that."

In Elento, one catches a glimpse of this team's spirit. Given that, her response to whether there was ever any doubt that George Brown would come to play on Saturday should come as no surprise.

"No," beamed the four-year Husky. "Because I knew that after yesterday, we all felt the same way, we were all on the same page. We woke up today, came to practice, and every time we were in the huddle, we knew what we had to do.

"This was business, and we had to take care of it."


After dispatching the Durham Lords, George Brown will close out the 2017-18 season by taking on the St. Clair Saints in the OCAA Championship consolation final.

Follow @GBC_Huskies on Twitter beginning at noon tomorrow for updates throughout the match.