FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – All four NPSS basketball teams played in tournaments on the weekend. The junior girls continued to dominate in 2020, winning their third straight tournament, while the junior boys finished first as well.
The junior girls were at the Prince George Secondary Junior A Invitational. Their first game was a matchup against Westside. After a long day of travel, the girls came out strong with a focus and intensity that couldn’t be matched and took the game 55-16. The team then took on Kelly Road Secondary on Saturday morning. The girls have been able to dig in and play patient, disciplined team defense all season, and this game was no exception, as NPSS won by a score of 50-15.
The gold medal game was another matchup against PGSS, the 4th time this season that the Grizzlies have taken on the Polars. Building on their earlier win, the Grizzlies came out firing and won with a score of 60-19, their biggest margin of victory against the Polars all year. Sophia De Torres lead the scoring with 29 points, followed by Alyssa Gallant with 20.
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The junior boys were in Dawson Creek for the 2020 DCSS/MCS Basketball Showcase. The boys went up against a much younger team from Dr. Kearney in their first game, winning 66-30. The win placed the team in the semifinals against a much improved GP Comp JV team. A 66-46 win put the Grizzlies in the finals for another showdown with perennial rivals Dawson Creek, who have won two championship games against the Grizzlies this season.
The boys again started slow, down 8-0 in the first five minutes of the game. A key timeout was called, which inspired the boys to work harder in defense and move the ball for open shots. The Grizzlies took a three-point lead into halftime.
The third and fourth quarter was similar to the final in Fort St. John last week, with Dawson mounting several comebacks. However, this time, the Grizzlies maintained their poise and stuck with the game plan, leading to the teams first gold-medal win of the year.
The senior girls started the weekend off in Prince George with a battle against Kelly Road Secondary School. The girls were down 20 points at the half and fought back to tie the game by the end of the 3rd quarter, and won 62-58.
Saturday morning the girls stepped up to play Caledonia, winning 58-52. The final game of the weekend was against PGSS, which the team won 71-61.
The senior boys, playing in the D.P. Todd Tournament in Prince George, finished third and had their best showing of the year. They lost an exciting, fast-paced game to start the tournament, to Kelly Road, 106-97.
Up next they faced B.C.’s fourth ranked team Duchess Park. This was the moment in which the Grizzlies would know whether or not they could compete at the highest level, and they rose to the occasion. The initial pace and efficient offense of Duchess Park led them to a 20 point lead going into the second quarter.
However, after a change in defense and the boys finally hitting shots, the Grizzlies fought back to make it a two-point game with three minutes left in the fourth quarter. The battle continued, but the boys couldn’t finish the job and lost with grace, 90-83.
The senior boys finished the tournament strong, beating their rivals from Dawson Creek by 25 points, improving their record to 9-3 in the process.
Up Next: The Senior Girls are back to Prince George this weekend, while the rest of the teams have the weekend off. Both junior teams will be at Regionals (hosted by Bert Bowes and North Peace) February 7 and 8, while the senior boys will be at College Heights that weekend.
Athlete of the Week: Komal Kaur, Basketball
Komal played an integral role in the senior girls team’s success this weekend, demonstrating continuous defensive strategy, and mental toughness. Congrats Komal!