Host Chargers named Fair Play winners

As hosts of the single-A provincial championships last week, the Duncan Christian School Chargers couldn’t have been more welcoming.

Kevin Rothbauer Citizen

As hosts of the single-A girls basketball provincial championships last week, the Duncan Christian School Chargers couldn’t have been more welcoming.

At the end of the tournament, the Chargers were presented with the Barry Dearing Fair Play Award for the most sportsmanlike team, as determined by the officials.

“Winning the honourable BC school sports Fair Play award was probably the most memorable thing,” DCS head coach Michelle Nederlof said. “It’s not an easy award to win as the referees tally scores on teams’ attitude and work ethic each game. Last year’s winner was also the team that won provincials, so this is no token award. I’m very proud of our DCS girls for leaving that kind of impression on the court.”

The Chargers split their four games at provincials, winning two and losing two, and finished in 13th place while serving as the only individual school to host a provincial high school basketball tournament this year.

“It was such a tremendous privilege to host teams from all over B.C. at Duncan Christian School,” Nederlof said. “It was not only fantastic to have so many people watch our DCS girls play, but to see the stands filled with people that want to be part of the basketball community was truly amazing.”

DCS star post player Juliet King earned a second team all-star berth after averaging more than 23 points and 17 rebounds over the four contests.

King provided nearly half of the Chargers’ offence in their tournament opener last Wednesday, putting up 21 points — as well as 11 rebounds and four blocks — in a 75-43 loss to Similkameen. Danielle Groenendijk had eight points, 13 rebounds and seven blocks.

“Although the score may not reflect it, the DCS Chargers played a solid game,” Nederlof said. “The girls played clean defence and hung on to the ball. We overcame some of the struggles we have had over the past few weeks, which I was pleased to see.”

On Thursday against Lakes District, King again led the way, this time with 13 points, 11 boards and five blocks in a 47-36 loss. Jenna Bakker earned Player of the Game honours with nine points and eight rebounds, while Groenendijk had seven points and an outstanding 27 rebounds.

The Chargers picked up their first win of the tournament on Friday, beating St. Andrew’s — the same team they had defeated in the Island final — 61-51. King posted 26 points and 27 rebounds, Groenendijk was named Player of the Game for her 16-point, 23-rebound outing, and Rachelle VanBoven chipped in with 10 points.

“Facing a rival team is never really easy,” Nederlof said. “We came through in the end, pulling ahead by 10 at one point in the fourth quarter. It was late in the third or early in the fourth quarter that the girls realized that they were not going to lose this game. The fans from the school were great. Having all the classes cheering for the team sure helped spur them on.”

The Chargers closed out the tournament in style with a 53-37 win over Fernie Secondary on Saturday. King ended her high school basketball career with 33 points, 19 rebounds and six blocks, while Groenendijk had 21 rebounds and five points. Brenna Bazinet and Zoey Alyward also had five points apiece, while VanBoven was named Player of the Game.

Langley Christian took first place, winning the championship game 83-37 over Agassiz. Langley’s Ali Wergeland was named tournament MVP, while Anniqa Karmali of Mulgrave was named the top defensive player.

The tournament organizers from DCS and Chemainus Secondary were saluted by many of the other teams for the effort they put into hosting provincials. Last Wednesday’s opening ceremonies were called the “best ever” by several coaches and other guests, and Geoff Sing, the assignor/evaluator from the BC Basketball Officials Association shared the positive comments he heard from the referees.

“I have been to several provincial and national championships,” he said in an email to DCS athletic director Tom Veenstra. “Your tournament was the best organized and most welcoming.  All aspects of this tournament were superb.”