Even though the Duncan Christian School Chargers were largely responsible for the Island zone getting a second berth in the provincial single-A girls basketball championships, the other Island teams didn’t just hand them the spot.
The Chargers won their opening game as hosts of the Island tournament last weekend, then had close defeats against the teams that finished in the top three, leaving everything they had on the floor.
“It was a great testament to girls basketball to see second-, third- and fourth-place contenders battle in such close games,” commented Michelle Nederlof, who headed up the coaching staff that included Tammy Klassen, Sarah Jones and Olivia Bakker. “Our girls put many things into practice that we had been working on. And although we fell short in a couple of incredibly close matches, on another day we may have ended up on top.”
The integrity, determination and grit that the Chargers displayed over their four games earned them the Most Sportsmanlike Team award.
DCS opened with a 66-18 win over Queen Margaret’s School early Friday afternoon, led by 26 points and 10 rebounds from Kristine Williams, 10 points and 12 boards from Player of the Game Mollie Corbett, and eight points and nine rebounds from Grace George.
Next up was a 62-54 defeat at the hands of Maaqtusiis, who went on to earn the second berth at provincials. Corbett scored 17 points and added 16 rebounds, George had 10 points and 19 rebounds, and Player of the Game Williams finished with 10 points and 18 boards.
Saturday afternoon saw the Chargers fall 62-40 to St. Andrew’s, the eventual Island champions. George earned Player of the Game with 14 points and 16 rebounds, with Williams and Candice Bennett each adding 10 points.
Playing for bronze later that day, DCS ended up on the wrong side of a 67-62 final score against Nanaimo Christian. Corbett put up 20 points and 14 rebounds, Williams added 12 points, and Morgan Nederlof scored nine points and dished out 10 assists to collect Player of the Game honours.
Coach Nederlof was pleased with the way the season played out for her team.
“There was a huge growth in team and self confidence that was tangible as the season progressed,” she said. “We were definitely led by our Grade 12s this year, Kristine Williams playing big in the middle both offensively and defensively and as point guard, Morgan Nederlof’s ability to steer the team, keep the ball alive and ability to make incredibly quick passes will be missed. Both the girls as players and as people will leave a gap. However, we look forward to a solid base continuing on and some great new talent taking to the floor next year.”
Queen Margaret’s School finished fifth in the tournament, beating Gold River 44-35 in the fifth-place game, with Yo Maki named Player of the Game. Charlie Roberts was Player of the Game in the Royals’ opener against DCS, and Cynthia Sun received the award in a loss to Maaqtusiis.