It was one shining moment for the Grand Forks Secondary junior girls basketball team as they beat L.V. Rogers of Nelson 49-25 in the West Kootenay championship final to take the crown. After losing to Nelson twice before by 14 points, it was a nice victory for GFSS who used good passing and strong defence to dominate the championships, which took place Saturday at J.L. Crowe in Trail.
In their semi-final game Saturday morning, the Wolves beat Stanley Humphries of Castlegar by a commanding 52-20 led by 16 points from Elizabeth Henne and eight points from Zailey Howard.
“Castlegar had some good shooters and size,” said coach Craig Lindsay. “We lost to them a couple of weeks back so we knew we needed to play tough defence and get out on their shooters, which we did.”
The win put GFSS in the final against L.V. Rogers, a team that had beaten them twice before by double digits. But in the final it was all Grand Forks as the Wolves pulled out to a 19-4 lead after the first quarter and never looked back. Elizabeth Henne led the team once again with 14 points, while Ariana Clark added 12.
“We started out really well and never backed down,” said Lindsay. “They really struggled against our pressure defence. I don’t think they were expecting that level of intense pressure. Our girls did a great job.”
Nelson made a few small runs in the game. Once after their coach was thrown out for arguing a call and again at the start of the third quarter.
“We really have good depth,” said Lindsay. “When a couple of players maybe struggled a little, a few fresh players would go out and really step it up and we were right back on our game.”
Lindsay credited the grade 10 sister duo of Elizabeth and Victoria Henne, who led the team with steals, rebounds and points. “They really set the pace with their hustle,” said Lindsay. “With those two and Ariana Clark, we just dominated the boards and they just grab any bad pass that comes anywhere near them. It’s great when your grade 10s lead the team with hustle.”
Lindsay also credited the guard duo of Tara Makortoff and Portia Dagg for running the offence calmly and cooly. “A month ago both would just dribble down the right side into the corner,” said Lindsay. “On the weekend they had their had up and got the ball into the middle of the floor and ran the offence. It was great being able to platoon the pair. They each bring something different to the table. With both being only grade 9 the future of the program looks very bright.”