The Summerland Middle School Grade 8 girls basketball team has qualified for the Grade 8 Provincials Basketball Championships after winning the South Okanagan Basketball Championship.
This is the first time in the school’s history that the team has reached this level.
The girls set the goal of Provincials at the start of their season, and have worked hard over the past three years, including in season, spring and fall basketball and summer camps.
“This is an exceptional group of young ladies who are ultra-committed, incredibly hard working and very close as teammates,” said Jason Corday principal of the middle school.
After a successful regular season, the girls earned the South Okanagan Championship with three playoff wins.
In their opening game they beat Holy Cross 66-9.
Lexi Corday led the way with 22 points, followed by Karrah Roelfsema with 20.
In the semifinal, Summerland faced Skaha Lake, a team that has improved throughout the season and according to Corday, “played really tough against us, on both ends of the floor.”
Summerland beat Skaha 47-16.
Olivia Harrold was a terror defensively against Skaha Lake. Harrold also chipped in 12 points. Lexi Corday had 10 and Jacqueline Mansiere (named a season all-star) added 10 as well.
Summerland faced KVR in the league final on Saturday night.
Both teams came out battling from the start with KVR taking a 22-14 lead into the half.
“The SMS girls were not discouraged at half, they were excited and confident that they could bounce back and win in the second half, these girls have no quit in them,” Corday said.
The score seesawed most of the third quarter with Summerland going on a six-point run in the fourth to take the lead with two minutes left and hang on for a 43-39 win.
Summerland was led by Lexi Corday, a Grade 7 playing up with the Grade 8 team. She had 23 points, 10 steals and 10 assists and was named Tournament Most Valuable Player.
Karrah Roelfsema, with eight points, and Paige Russill were outstanding defensively for Summerland, and both contributed on the offensive end.
Olivia Harrold was once again the school’s best defender. Alyssa Robinson, like Harrold, came off the bench to provide both outstanding spark offensively and great defensive pressure.
Navi Hughes, the Summerland point guard, controlled play and set our offence while also attacking the hoop with a vengeance.
The tournament all-star team included Harrold and Roelfsema from Summerland. Other Summerland team members included Laska Hughes, Rowan Knowles, Morgan Hilgersom and Brinay Burdick.
The Grade 8 Provincials are March 3 to 5 in Pitt Meadows.
To raise money for the championships, the girls will sweep the driveway at Ripley Stainless on Thursday, Feb. 25 around 9 a.m. for a $200 donation.