HAMILTON, Ont. – This year’s first place Ottawa Gee-Gees lead the pack as Ontario University Athletics (OUA) announced the east division major award winners and all-stars this morning.
The Gee-Gees have swept the major award winners and forward Hannah Sunley-Paisley (Toronto) has garnered her third straight east Player of the Year honour. The fifth-year player led the league with 406 total points, 18.45 points per game, and made the most field goals with 168 baskets. Sunley-Paisley finishes her career with 1,483 points which places her sixth in the OUA all-time record books. She also cleaned up on the glass this season, collecting 209 rebounds to bring her career total to 993 rebounds, pushing her into second on the all-time rebounds list. Sunley-Paisley has also been named a First-Team All-Star for the third time in her career.
Ottawa native Bess Lennox picked up two major awards as she has been named the Defensive Player of the Year and the Joy Bellinger Award winner, presented annually to a female student-athlete in recognition of outstanding service to the sport and to the advancement of university athletics. Lennox became OUA’s all-time rebound leader this season and is the only player to haul in over 1,000 boards. She also racked up 33 steals on the year and was often tasked with guarding the opposition’s top players.
In addition to her athletic success, Lennox has been an Academic All-Canadian twice in her career and is balancing basketball with a Master’s program. Outside the classroom and gymnasium, Lennox has developed an educational workshop for girls moving from high school to university and coached under-14 boys basketball teams while she was playing overseas in Australia and Switzerland. Lennox has also been named to the Second-Team All-Star squad.
First-year point guard Kellie Ring takes home this year’s east Rookie of the Year honours. The Ottawa native jumped right into the action this year, dressing in all 22 games for the Gee-Gees and taking control of the offence. Ring dished out 105 assists on the year to finish second in OUA and also contributed defensively tallying 55 steals, good for seventh in the league. She has also been named to the east All-Rookie team.
Rounding out the major awards for this year is Ottawa’s Andy Sparks, taking home the Coach of the Year award. This is the second such award for Sparks after winning in 2008-09 as well. Sparks led the Gee-Gees to a 19-3 record, including a 16 game winning streak spanning from November 18 to February 4. Ottawa had a large recruiting class this year and the program looks poised to be successful for years to come in large part due to Sparks’ efforts.
Joining Bess Lennox on the Second-Team is Jenna Gilbert (Ottawa). The Gee-Gees fourth-year forward led the league with 53 three-pointers, providing a balance for Ottawa both down low and from the outside. Maddie Stephen (Toronto) was also recognized by being named to the All-Rookie team. On a team with the top two rebounders in OUA history, Stephen held her own, pulling down 92 boards and chipping in with 74 points in 16 games played.
The announcement comes as the Gee-Gees prepare to host the first OUA Final Four tournament for women’s basketball this coming weekend. Ottawa will face the Brock Badgers in the tournament’s opening game on Friday March 2 at 6:00 p.m. while cross-town rivals Carleton will play the number-two ranked team in the country and defending national champion Windsor Lancers in the second semifinal at 8:00 p.m. The winners will play for the OUA championship banner at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday March 3 at Montpetit Hall.