The Canadian presence in NCAA women’s basketball has grown consistently in recent years, and programs such as the Durham Blues out of Ontario are helping to continue that trend. This summer, the Blues made their mark at three events in the States.
“I was very pleased with how the summer went,” said Coach Joel Woodburn. “We played in some quality tournaments, and the team improved. Most of these kids have been together for a few years, and they have continually improved.”
The next step in the Blues’ development will take place at the upcoming Chicagoland Tournament of Champions. The event, which will feature many of the top clubs in the Midwest, will be played at Bolingbrook High School from Sept. 27-28.
The Blues have been paced this year by an outstanding backcourt that includes Rachel Woodburn (2015, 5-8, CG) and Shaina Pellington (2017, 5-9, PG). Woodburn, who is the coach’s daughter, is listed as the No. 785 recruit in her class by the All Star Girls Report.
“Those two players have really led the way for us,” Woodburn said. “Rachel has the ability to break defenders down off the dribble, and she can hit the three. If they play tight, she goes by them, and if they back off, she hits the open shot. She is also a very good defender.
“Shaina has a really bright future. She can get to the rim at will, and she is a very active defender. She is also a tough kid who is competing against the older girls.”
“Woodburn is an athlete who understands the game,” said ASGR analyst Bret McCormick. “She has a nice floater and three-point range, and I like the way she competes. Pellington is a quick, strong player who slashes hard to the rim. She is a blue-collar competitor, and she plays good defense.”
The Blues also rely heavily on Jaclyn Ronson (2016, 5-8, G) and Victoria Anderson (2015, 5-10, F).
“Jaclyn is a playmaker who is very crafty with the ball. Victoria shoots the open three very, very well, and she is very active on the boards,” Woodburn said.
“Ronson is a heady point guard who knows how to run a team,” McCormick added. “Anderson is a good athlete with an inside-outside game and three-point shooting range.”