DCS hosts provincial girls hoop tournament

From March 9-12, DCS plays host to the senior girls single-A provincial championship tournament

Outside of Langley, there is only one place in B.C. where you can watch a provincial high school senior basketball championship.

That place is Duncan Christian School.

From March 9-12, DCS plays host to the senior girls single-A provincial championship tournament, the only provincial tourney being held outside of the Langley Events Centre.

That’s a benefit for the players and the fans.

“There’s so much basketball going on [in Langley], single-A gets lost in the shuffle,” said Michelle Nederlof, who coached the DCS senior girls team to their second consecutive Island single-A championship last weekend. “We want to make it a show.”

The tournament will feature the top 16 single-A teams in the province, and staff and students from DCS — and Chemainus Secondary, where games will also be played — are pulling out all the stops to make it a success. DCS hosted the provincial girls volleyball championships in 2013, but this is the first time the school will hold a basketball provincials. DCS athletic director Tom Veenstra hopes it will help promote girls basketball on Vancouver Island.

“It will increase exposure of the game, and hopefully that will help grow the sport as well,” he said.

To boost the provincials, DCS grad Joel Duifhuis of Zineer Media has created an expansive website. Fans also have the ability to sign up to receive text messages with the score after their favourite team’s games, or updates after every quarter.

The Chargers had a guaranteed host berth for the tournament, but wanted to make sure they earned the opportunity to play for the B.C. banner by winning the Island tournament, something they accomplished last weekend.

“We don’t want to be there just because we are hosting it,” Grade 12 standout Juliet King said.

King was named the tournament MVP as the Chargers won the Island title. They beat Glenlyon Norfolk 49-41 in the semifinal and St. Andrew’s 51-31 in the final. King put up 26 points, 20 rebounds and six blocks against GNS, while Danielle Groenendijk had eight points and 12 boards, Player of the Game Jenna Bakker had five points and 15 rebounds, and Brenna Bazinet had 12 rebounds and four points. Against St. Andrews, King posted 18 points and 27 rebounds, Groenendijk had 13 of each, and player of the game Brenna Bazinet scored 10 points. Groenendijk was named a tournament all-star.

In her five years with the DCS senior girls, King has been to three provincial championships. Last year’s, when the Chargers earned a top-eight finish, was probably the most memorable.

“We beat Agassiz in our first game,” King recalled, noting that she scored 36 points in that contest. “That was history in the making.”

This year’s Chargers have a range of strengths that will allow them to compete with the other teams at the tournament.

“Our defence has gotten so much better, so I think that’s a strength,” King said. “And not getting down on ourselves. We’re a happy team; we don’t get impatient with each other. When we face challenges, we power through it by being uplifting.”