Elmwood grad not yet ready to end Ravens' ride.
Elmwood grad Courtney Smith is in contention to win a trip to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport women’s basketball national championships in her final year with the Carleton Ravens, who improved to 13-2 with a double-overtime victory over the Ottawa Gee-Gees in last week’s Capital Hoops Classic at Scotiabank Place.
It couldn’t possibly have been a much more memorable final
Capital Hoops Classic last week for Elmwood School grad Courtney Smith as her
Carleton Ravens pulled out a 71-63 victory over the University of Ottawa
Gee-Gees in a true Classic at Scotiabank Place.
“It was so exciting. When that time finally wound down, it
felt really good,” recounts the senior guard whose smile turned into a frown
when asked her feelings on playing in the last Capital Hoops contest of her
career. “It’s sad, I’m graduating, but we stepped up and played hard. And it’s
so good to win.”
Winning is the only result Smith has known since returning
from a knee injury that kept her out of the lineup for the entire fall semester
when training was very difficult since she couldn’t run or jump.
The Ravens have won seven games in a row since Smith’s
return to the lineup, which came just in time to play in the big showdown of
the year in front of 7,565 university basketball fans.
“It’s always a really fun experience,” notes Smith, who’s
averaging eight points and over 20 minutes of floor time for the 13-2, no.
4-ranked team in Canada. “The venue is something so different that we don’t get
to experience any other place – all the fans, the lights, the noise and playing
Ottawa U too is always a big deal for us.”
Getting to play under the big lights at the Capital Hoops
Classic almost didn’t happen for Smith. The former Elmwood athlete-of-the-year
was a standout player in both basketball and soccer – and also competed in
volleyball and track-and-field – and wound up dressing for the Ravens soccer
team in her first year.
“I couldn’t really decide between basketball and soccer, and
I just went for soccer,” explains Smith, a former Ottawa Shooting Stars and
Sting club player. “But then it wasn’t the right situation for me, so the next
year I tried out for basketball and made the team.”
The Ravens have become a bigger and bigger contender each
season Smith played for them under coach Taffe Charles, although their rival
Gee-Gees knocked them out of the playoffs the past two seasons. Smith can’t
think of a better way to cap her final season than by making a trip to the
“We don’t want anything else,” smiles the criminology
student who’s applied to many law schools across Canada to continue her
studies. “That would be the best. We have our sights set on it and we’re going
to work towards it.”