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Local players prominent among OUA basketball all-stars

March 4, 2014

Three Kingston Area high school products are among those named Tuesday to Ontario University Athletics East division all-star teams.

Jenny Wright, from Regiopolis Notre Dame, and Liz Boag, from La Salle, were both named to the first all-star team. Both are members of the East division champion Queen’s Golden Gaels.

Ottawa’s Sarah Besselink, from Holy Cross, was selected to the conference’s all-rookie team, along with Andrea Priamo of Queen’s.

Boag, a fourth-year guard, scored a career-best 264 points (12.0 per game) and she was second in the conference with 77 assists. She scored 36 points in the Gaels’ two playoff victories and her three-point shooting percentage, .378, was ninth-best in Canada.

In her third season at Queen’s, Wright led the team in scoring (13.0 points per game), while collecting 51 assists and posting a three-point shooting percentage of .341, both career bests. She’s added 34 points in two playoff games and her three-point success rate was second in the division only to Boag.

Gemma Bullard of Queen’s, a second-team all-star, was named winner of the Tracy McLeod award, which recognizes determination, perseverance and unwavering spirit.

A civil engineering student from Guelph, Bullard has suffered a serious injury in every season of her intercollegiate career, and this year she put a concussion, knee surgery and a shoulder injury behind her to average 11.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game for the Gaels.

Priamo, also from Guelph, played almost 22 minutes per game for Queen’s. She scored 4.4 points and was third in the team with 4.5 rebounds per game. Besselink, one of only three Gee-Gees to play every game this year, averaged almost 20 minutes of floor time in each, was second on the team with 22 three-point baskets and averaged 4.5 points per game.

Dave Wilson of Queen’s is the East division coach of the year, the first Queen’s coach to receive the honour since Wilson, a three-time winner, last won it in 1998. This year the Gaels finished 16-6 in the regular season, a nine-game improvement from 2013, and they won the division championship. They will take a nine-game winning streak into the OUA final Saturday in Windsor.

• • •

Two local high school grads were among those mentioned when the men’s honours were announced last week.

Holy Cross grad Greg Faulkner of Queen’s was named to the East division’s second all-star team, while Bayridge Secondary School’s Nathan Culbreath of York was chosen for the conference all-rookie team.

Faulkner led the Gaels with 16.0 points per game before his season was cut short by a shoulder injury. The fourth-year guard, who shot 46.2 per cent from the field, has been a second-team all-star each of his two years at Queen’s, after he transferred back home from Carleton.

Culbreath, a 6-5 guard in his first year of engineering study, averaged 18 minutes and 6.8 points in each of his 21 games with the Lions.

Dave Smart, the former Queen’s star who founded the Guardsmen basketball program in Napanee, is the East division’s coach of the year. Smart, a seven-time Canadian Interuniversity Sport coach of the year, guided the Carleton Ravens to a 22-0 regular season.

Sine he arrived at Carleton in 1999, Smart has coached the Ravens to nine national championships. In that time, his team has won 92 per cent of its games against Canadian intercollegiate competition.

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