The Summerland Middle School Grade 8 Girls basketball team proved they can compete with any team in the province at the Provincial Championships March 3 to 5 in Pitt Meadows.
The South Okanagan champions opened with a tough match up in Round 1, drawing Howe Middle School, a top Fraser Valley team.
The girls competed hard as Howe challenged the girls with their lighting quick point guard and a tough zone defence.
Summerland had to adjust to a zone offence, which they don’t normally use as zones aren’t a defence that is played in South Okanagan play.
The Wave opened strong, ending the first quarter down 17-14.
Karrah Roelfsema was on fire offensively, scoring 12 first quarter points.
As the game wore on, Howe’s shots kept falling and SMS had many solid scoring chances but couldn’t seem to finish.
The final score was 30-50 for Howe.
In Round 2 the Wave played Prince Rupert in one of the most exciting games of the tournament.
Summerland and Rupert played a back and forth game which demonstrated a great deal of offence.
The Wave were up 19-17 at the end of the first quarter and went into half time up 30-29.
Rupert had a shooter who couldn’t miss, Payton Henry, who hit four three pointers and scored 17 points in the first half.
Summerland adjusted defensively and had Navi Hughes match up in isolation on Henry.
Hughes is a tough defender who took on the challenge, and along with help from Alyssa Robinson, Summerland limited Henry to only two points in the second half.
The second half was a back and forth battle with Rupert up 43-39 after three.
The Wave pushed hard in the final period, closing the score to 47-49 with a minute left.
The teams each scored in the final minute, with Rupert pulling out a 51-49 win.
Olivia Harrold was outstanding defensively, shadowing Rupert’s strong point guard all game. Jaqueline Mansiere led Summerland with 20 points, while power forward Karrah Roelfsema put up 17.
Friday’s game saw Summerland take on North Island Champion Cowichan Secondary.
The girls dominated Cowichan for the entire game, leading 29-10 at the half and going on to win 38-16.
Summerland played well on both the offensive and defensive ends.
Grade 7 Lexi Corday was named player of the game by the all-star committee.
She controlled the offence by scoring when needed and delivering over 10 assists. Defensively she had double digit steals.
Mansiere had 14 points and Paige Russill gave a spark off the bench, scoring several big baskets to begin the second half.
Russill has really developed this year and with continued work will be a top notch post player, said Corday.
The final game saw SMS draw Vancouver Independent Champion St. Patrick Regional School.
Mansiere scored 10 first quarter points.
Summerland started strong, leading 14 -13 after one quarter. St. Pat’s pressed ahead in the second and went into the half up 29-20.
Summerland made some adjustments at the half going back to full court defensive pressure and changed to a zone offence.
Summerland got defensive play from Olivia Harrold and Navi Hughes, and strong perimeter play from Grade 7 Brinay Burdick.
Corday once again had multiple steals and six fourth-quarter points to close the gap to a four-point margin, but Summerland lost 44-36.
Summerland was awarded the Most Sportsmanlike Team award and trophy.
Mansiere received individual recognition from the Tournament All Star Committee by being named to the Honourable Mention All Star Team.
SMS finished the tournament 14th in the province.
Other team members were Grade 7 Laska Hughes, Morgan Hilgersom, and Rowan Knowles.