Harriette Mackenzie of VIU has been named to the Pacific Western Athletic Association (PacWest) all rookie team. Photo by Gibi Saini

Harriette Mackenzie of VIU has been named to the Pacific Western Athletic Association (PacWest) all rookie team. Photo by Gibi Saini

Comox Valley basketball talent, VIU teammates seek national title

Comox Valley basketball talent Harriette Mackenzie, who plays for the VIU Mariners women’s team in Nanaimo, has been named to the Pacific Western Athletic Association (PacWest) all rookie team.

It was a pleasant surprise for the 2021 graduate of Isfeld Secondary, who transferred from Ontario Tech University to Vancouver Island University in the fall. Since then, she has averaged nearly 11 points and seven rebounds per game in only 14 minutes of play per game. She leads the PacWest in field goal percentage (56 per cent) and points per minute.

“VIU’s been great, I found a good fit here,” said Mackenzie, a 6’2” forward. “I really like the coach and all my teammates.”

Head coach Tony Bryce recruited her through high school. Even during her brief stay at Ontario Tech, where Mackenzie struggled with some issues, she credits him for reminding her that she always had a place at VIU.

Bryce said she has been “a great addition to our roster,” despite joining the team late in the first half of the season.

“We have been doing our best to get her up to speed at both ends of the floor,” he said. “Harriette is coming along, and the hope is to continue to solidify that prior to the national tournament. If so, there is no doubt Harriette will have an impact for us in the tournament. She will also be a huge part of our program success moving forward. Very excited to have her home and a part of the Mariner family.”

Mackenzie feels she saved her best for the last game of the season, scoring 23 points in a 90-62 win over Camosun College.

VIU was undefeated in 18 regular season games, and was ranked number one in Canada heading into the B.C. tournament last weekend in Abbotsford. The team reached Saturday’s (March 5) final against Okanagan College, who beat the Mariners 79-74.

“That was a heart-breaker,” Mackenzie said. “They played out of their minds, and we couldn’t hit our shots. Nothing necessarily that we did wrong, they just had a good day.”

Mackenzie scored 10 points in 11 minutes of play in the final. She also went five for six in shooting, and had seven rebounds and a block.

VIU hosts the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association national women’s tourney March 25-27. As of March 8, VIU is ranked number eight while the Okanagan Coyotes are number five in the country. The Lakeland Rustlers of Lloydminster, Alta. are the top-ranked women’s basketball team in the CCAA.

RELATED: Courtenay basketball star commits to Ontario university



reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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