The Duncan Christian School Chargers kicked off the senior girls basketball season last week, hosting six other teams for their own Welcome Back Tournament.
The Chargers finished with one win and two losses, but at this point in the season, results aren’t the focus for coaches Michelle Nederlof and Tammy Klassen.
“This tournament weekend, in its design, was to help teams get a good start to their season,” Nederlof explained. “Three games in a weekend enables teams to take a look at their new strengths and ‘need-to-learns.’ That’s exactly what this weekend did for us. Winning games is great, but when the bigger purpose is to test and stretch leadership, coachability and basketball knowledge, the score is secondary.”
Originally scheduled for eight teams, the tournament had to be reconfigured a couple of times: first when Maaqtusiis nearly bowed out of the event, and then when Ucluelet had to cancel their plans after their vehicle was involved in a car accident on Friday morning.
The tournament did mark the competition debut of Gold River Secondary’s first-ever senior girls basketball team. Although the new team arrived with a full set of new jerseys, their shorts were a hodgepodge, a situation that the host school took steps to rectify by gifting them with a set of DCS gym shorts.
Perhaps not coincidentally, the Chargers were awarded the tournament’s sportsmanship award.
The Chargers opened the tournament with a 61-44 loss to Maaqtusiis. Kristine Williams led DCS with 17 points and 25 rebounds, and Player of the Game Morgan Nederlof recorded three steals and four assists.
Next up for the host team was École Au-coeur-de-l’île, who beat the Chargers 42-23. Zoey Wall had seven points and seven rebounds for DCS, Morgan Nederlof put up six points and three assists, and Williams also had six points. Jaymie Brandsma had four points and three steals as she was named Player of the Game.
The Chargers wrapped things up with a 62-14 win over Gold River. Williams posted 18 points and nine rebounds, Wall scored eight points and grabbed 14 boards, Morgan Nederlof had eight points and five assists, Brandsma had eight points and six steals, and Player of the Game Julianna Kapteyn finished with eight points and nine rebounds.
The tournament final was won by Alberni District, 38-33 over St. Andrew’s. Brandsma was DCS’s selection for the all-star team.
“Our team is young and with eight graduating players last year, we have to rebuild,” coach Nederlof said. “Coach Tammy and I are really excited about the future of this team. We have great leadership from our returning players and are pleased at the keenness and positivity of the new girls. With a lot of athleticism, we’re looking forward to pushing these girls so they can see their potential.”
As a warm-up for the Welcome Back Tournament, the Chargers faced Glenlyon Norfolk School last Thursday, losing 50-41. Williams led DCS with 13 points and added nine rebounds, while Wall had nine points and a team-high 13 boards. Brandsma had six points and five steals, and Mollie Corbett had five points and seven rebounds.