Women's Basketball News

Alyson Bush named OUA East player of the year

Alyson Bush OUA Player of the Year

3/6/2013 8:58:06 AM

HAMILTON, Ont. –  Ottawa schools are well represented as Ontario University Athletics OUA) announces the major award winners and all-stars from the east division in women’s basketball, presented by Wilson Sports.

Fifth-year Carleton guard Alyson Bush (Ottawa) has been named the OUA East player of the year after a strong season.  In her final season of university competition, she averaged 14.2 points per game to lead her team and finish third in the east division. Known for her hard work and court vision, Bush also added 4.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists per contest lifting her team to a 15-5 regular season record and a second place finish. On top of her player of the year award, Bush also was named an all-star for the fourth straight season.  Her first team status this year goes along with first team nods in 2011-12 and 2009-10 and second team honours in 2010-11.

In addition to her prowess on the offensive end of the floor, Bush has also been recognized as the top defensive player in the OUA East. Often tasked with guarding the opponents top back court player, Bush showed her tenacity on defence, collecting 2.5 steals per game; third in the OUA East.

Bush is also the east division recipient of the Joy Bellinger award, given to the female basketball student-athlete who demonstrates outstanding service to the sport and to the advancement of university athletics. In addition to being a strong student and graduating this year with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, she is a mainstay at youth basketball practices around the Ottawa region . As a team leader Bush has organized team outings to Camp Merrywood, working with children with physical disabilities and has donated her time to after-school programs run by the City of Ottawa.

The Ryerson Rams have a rookie of the year for the first time as Cassandra Nofuente takes the honour this season. The Toronto native appeared in all 20 games for the Rams in her rookie season, finishing 16th in the OUA with 12.6 points per game. The five-foot-six guard also hauled in 6.3 rebounds per game which was 17th in the OUA. A versatile athlete, Nofuente finished fifth in the OUA with 4.0 assists per game and second in the conference in 3.0 steals per outing. Nofuente was also recognized as a second team all-star and a member of the east’s all-rookie team.

After guiding the University of Ottawa to a 16-4 regular season mark and first place in the OUA East, Gee-Gees bench boss Andy Sparks has been named the division’s coach of the year. Sparks claims the honour for the second consecutive season, and third in his tenure. Playing portions of the season without keys players due to injury, Sparks inspired his squad to the top scoring offence (67.7 PPG) and the number two defence (55.2 points allowed) in the OUA East.

Darcy Hawkins (Merrickville, Ont.) of the Carleton Ravens is the East recipient of the Tracy McLeod award presented in recognition of determination, perseverance and unwavering spirit. Hawkins had a strong rookie season in 2010-11 that was cut short due to concussions, and eventually lost her 2011-12 season due to lingering symptoms. Not wanting to end her playing career in that fashion, she worked hard through the most recent off season and with the help of the Ravens’ training staff and her perseverance, she was able to work her way back to the court and into the starting lineup this year. Hawkins averaged 7.3 points and 3.4 rebounds per game this season, suiting up in all 20 contests.

Joining Alyson Bush on the first all-star team are a pair of Ottawa Gee-Gees, a York rookie and big scorer from Laurentian.

After being named the OUA East rookie of the year a season ago Gee-Gees guard Kellie Ring (Ottawa) become an all-star for the first time. The sophomore point guard led the east with 5.0 assists per game, while also adding 9.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game for the first-place Gee-Gees.

Ottawa Gee-Gees forward Jenna Gilbert (Ottawa) was a force in 2012-13, despite losing a portion of her season to injury. Even though she missed eight games, Gilbert still managed to sit fourth in total points on the high-scoring Ottawa team. She collected 175 points on the year, and her average of 13.5 per game was 13th in the OUA and sixth in the East. The first team nod is the first in her career after being named to the second team in each of the past two seasons.

In her first OUA season, Laurentian’s Sasha Polishchuk (Richmond, B.C.) has earned first team all-star status in the east. After transferring from NCAA Division 1 Gonzaga, the veteran guard lit up score sheets all season long.  She averaged 17.2 points per game on the year and posted over 30 points on three occasions.

York rookie Cyrielle Recoura rounds out the OUA East first team. In her debut season, the native of Voiron, France was the leading scorer for the youthful Lions team. Recoura finished fifth in the OUA and second among east division players in scoring, averaging 15.7 points. She was also a playmarker, average 3.6 assists per game in helping the Lions to a 6-14 record and a spot in the postseason. Recoura also received recognition on the all-rookie team

Five different schools are represented on the east divison second all-star team. Along with rookie of the year Cassandra Nofuente from Ryerson is Toronto’s Rachael Sider (New Westminster, B.C.) whose 12.1 points per game lead the Blues. The Queen’s Gaels are represented on the second team by third-year guard Liz Boag (Kingston, Ont.) who averaged 13.9 points per game, good enough for 11th in the OUA. The two remaining second team all-stars both play in Ottawa; the Gee-Gees Maddie Stephen (Toronto) and Carleton rookie Lindsay Shotbolt (Markham, Ont.). Stephen was one of only two OUA players to average a double-double (10.7 PPG, 11.3 RPG), while in her first year Shotbolt finished second behind Stephen in rebounding in the east, collecting 8.6 per contest and added 10.6 points per game. Shotbolt is also a member of the all-rookie team.

Rounding out the all-rookie squad a pair of Ottawa Gee-Gees; Julia Soriano (Toronto) and Catherine Traer (Chelsea, Que.). Soriano was a strong option at guard for the Gee-Gees, with 6.2 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game, while Traer was a defensive force, finishing first in the east and second in the OUA in blocks with 30 on the year.

Both the east and west OUA women’s basketball all-star teams will be honoured and compete at the annual OUA women’s basketball all-star game, to be held on Saturday, April 27th at Algoma University in conjuction with Ontario Basketball’s Under-15 Midget Girls Ontario Cup event.


Player of the Year: Alyson Bush – Carleton
Rookie of the Year: Cassandra Nofuente – Ryerson
Defensive Player of the Year: Alyson Bush – Carleton
Joy Bellinger Award: Alyson Bush – Carleton
Tracy McLeod Award: Darcy Hawkins – Carleton
Coach of the Year: Andy Sparks – Ottawa


First Team

Alyson Bush – Carleton
Sasha Polishcuk – Laurentain
Jenna Gilbert – Ottawa
Kellie Ring – Ottawa
Cyrielle Recoura – York

Second Team

Cassandra Nofuente – Ryerson
Rachael Sider – Toronto
Lizz Boag – Queen’s
Lindsay Shotbolt – Carleton
Maddie Stephen – Ottawa

All-Rookie Team

Cassandra Nofuente – Ryerson
Cyrielle Recoura – York
Lindsay Shotbolt – Carleton
Julia Soriano – Ottawa
Catherine Traer – Ottawa

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