The Grand Forks Secondary School (GFSS) Grade 8 girls’ basketball team has taken the West Kootenay Grade 8 championship.
The team played in the playoffs in late-February in Trail and played three games in one day, beating Boundary Central Secondary School 22-10, defeating Mount Sentinel Secondary School 18-13 and in the final, GFSS defeated top-ranked Rossland Secondary 22-19 – Rossland had been undefeated up to that point said GFSS Coach Terry Nuyten.
Nuyten said that the team was determined and very competitive and with a deep bench (19 players) it enabled he and co-coach Dan Makortoff to juggle players and keep the team fresh.
“One of the advantages we had, because we had a deep team, some of the teams we played only had seven or eight players so our players were probably the most rested,” Nuyten said.
On top of being rested, Nuyten said the team’s defence was one of its strong suits.
“We played really good defence, the players tended to wear teams down and teams didn’t score on us much in the second half in all three of those games,” explained Nuyten, adding that GFSS came back from a nine-point deficit in the third game to win it all.
The GFSS coach said that of all the defensive aspects the team excelled in, it was responsibility.
“The players were responsible for their checks and if other players needed help, they helped. They were very responsible and not giving their checks an easy shot,” said Nuyten.
With 19 players only in Grade 8 and a championship as well, the future looks bright for GFSS girls’ basketball one would think.
“Hopefully there will be more good things for this team because there are a lot of players that hopefully will continue to play, hopefully all the way through to senior,” Nuyten opined. “Last year’s Grade 8 team won it as well, so it’s two years in a row, which hopefully means a really strong junior team next year and hopefully a really strong senior team the next three years after that.”