Duncan Christian School has once again overwhelmed the rest of the province with its participation numbers in an event designed to keep student-athletes active during the COVID-19 layoff.
DCS had the best participation numbers among small schools across B.C. in a virtual cross-country running competition last fall, and matched that feat in a basketball challenge that wrapped up last week.
With 406 participants in the three-week challenge, Duncan Christian had more than any other school with high school enrollment under 175 students, and the third most participants among schools of any size in B.C.
“The BC School Sports Basketball Bandemic Challenge was a great activity to help fill the basketball season,” DCS athletic director Tom Veestra commented. “Overall, we were able to get in a fair amount of basketball practice during the past couple months emphasizing mainly individual skill development. The challenge allowed all of our students the opportunity to compete as a school. We encouraged as many students as possible to participate for our school. It was great to see many non basketball players give each challenge a try.”
The challenge included three week-long phases. The first week saw students execute a 60-second Mikan drill: alternating layups from the left and right sides of the hoop. The next week was free throws, sinking as many as they could out of 20 attempts. Finally, they shot three-pointers, as many as possible in the span of a minute.
DCS had 130 total participants in the Mikan drill, 136 in the free-throw challenge, and 141 in the three-point challenge.
Several players tried the challenges multiple times in order to get their highest scores. Grade 12 student Nathan Powell eventually managed a perfect 20-for-20 in the free-throw challenge, while Jaymie Brandsma and Jordan Day hit 19, and Ben Williams and Peter Huang got to 18.
The top-scoring schools for boys and girls over the three weeks each received a set of six Baden basketballs, valued at $540, while the schools with the most participation in four separate enrollment categories also received prizes.
The school submitted the top five scores from each of the three challenges.
In the Mikan drill, the top five girls’ scores belonged to Brandsma (28), Grace George (28), Danika Fitzpatrick (24) Ceci Broadway (23) and Clare Scholefield (23), and the top five boys’ scores belonged to Day (35), Williams (35), Jameson Hengstler (35), Andrew Young (33) and Cohen Floucault (33).
In the free-throw challenge, the top five girls’ scores came from Brandsma (19), Clare Scholefield (17), Lize Nagtegaal (17), Sydney Dollman (16) and Grace George and Michaela Wall (15 each), and the top five boys’ scores came from Powell (20), Day (19), Williams (18), Huang (18) and Young and Parker Terpstra (17 each).
In the three-point challenge, the top five girls’ scorers were George (10), Brandsma (seven), and Fitzpatrick, Nagtegaal, Violette Muller, Merika Henry, Clare Scholefield and Natalie Scholefield (five each), and the top five boys’ scorers were Powell (15), Day (13) and Williams, Connor Hengstler and Ben Bennett (11 each).
While the top-scoring boys over the three weeks came from Grade 12 (Day, Powell, Williams, Young and Cam Stevens) and Grade 11 (Terpstra, Jaden Croswell and Huang), the best girls scores were split between Grade 12 (Brandsma, George and Ellie Kremer) and Grade 9 (Clare Scholefield, Nagtegaal and Fitzpatrick), showing that Duncan Christian should have a strong girls basketball program for several years.
Veenstra was pleased to offer another chance for his athletes to compete against other schools, even virtually, in such a strange year.
“It was great that BC School Sports offered the Pandemic Basketball Challenge as it definitely gave an opportunity for schools to enjoy and add many positive memories to a challenging season that will be remembered for many years to come,” he said.