The Duncan Christian Chargers found themselves in an unusual position last Friday in the final of the Island senior girls single-A basketball championships against Glenlyon Norfolk School.
Used to being in control of games, even when they played the same GNS team earlier this season, the team wasn’t sure how to respond when they fell behind by 11 points early.
"In some ways, the girls were hesitant because they didn’t want to be the one to make a mistake," coach Michelle Nederlof said. "But, I always say, ‘In basketball it’s better to make the wrong decision than hanging around making no decision at all.’" The Chargers came back and led by as many as six points, but the game ended up slipping away and DCS lost 57-54.
"It was tough," Nederlof admitted. "GNS played the best I’d seen them play in a long time. They earned the win, but seeing our girls’ desire and fight, they didn’t deserve to lose either. But that’s how things go in sport and that’s how we learn and grow as athletes."
Becky Bazinet led the team with 21 points in her last game with the Chargers. Lauren King-Nyberg had 14 points, 16 steals and nine assists, Juliet King had nine points, 12 boards and seven steals, and Danielle Groenendijk had six points, 12 rebounds and eight steals.
The Chargers defeated Queen Margaret’s School in one semifinal. Everyone scored for DCS, led by Player of the Game Groenendijk, who had 19 points and 13 rebounds. Bazinet had 16 points, King 11, and King-Nyberg and Carli Stevens 10 each. Rebecca Bakker led the team with 14 rebounds, and King added a dozen.
Bazinet and King-Nyberg were named to the tournament all-star team.
All 10 players on the QMS team were new to the sport this year, but showed tremendous growth over the year and were named the Most Sportsmanlike Team at Islands.
McKaylee Catcher played every minute of every Royals game, and was honoured as Player of the Game against DCS. QMS closed out with a loss to St. Andrew’s in which Nicole Lu was named Player of the Game.
"It was during this game we saw growth in their understanding of the offensive and defensive systems they had been working on," said proud coach Kirstin Bains.