After a warm-up victory on Thursday night in Courtenay against a hard-working Vanier junior girls team, the Isfeld Ice junior girls basketball team won the consolation side of the prestigious Victoria Top 16 Christmas Basketball Tournament this past weekend.
The Ice had a tough opening match-up against pre-season ranked No. 4 in the province and defending B.C. junior champs Brookswood. A tough press woke up the North Island girls but left them down 14 points in the first half. However, Isfeld battled hard, winning the fourth quarter but losing to favourite Brookswood. Guards Avery Snider, Michaela Ashlee, Danielle Vanbergen and Melia Irvine proved they can play with a top five in the province team while forwards Chemin Faydd, Jessica Drummond and Camille Bourget battled hard against more experienced players. “And, our secret weapon, Rachel Dunn, added enthusiasm and energy,” a team spokesperson said.
Next up after only a one game break was northern cousins Ballenas from Parksville. Employing a secret defence, the Ice stymied the Breakers and came away with a well deserved 20-plus point victory.
Saturday morning the girls started well and decisively defeated Shawnigan Lake private school from down Island. “A good start to shake loose shopping mall legs,” noted the spokesperson.
In the consolation final, Isfeld faced a player shortage as two girls had improv theatre gigs back home in Courtenay while Drummond was in hospital getting her injured ankle checked out. Combined with four other Ice players who could not make the trip, the bench was awfully short.
Down to six players, the Ice dug deep and surprised Fleetwood Park’s 15 players with a gutsy effort. The Ice jumped out to a 10-point first-quarter lead but the Surrey team battled back to tie the game late in the third quarter and appeared to have the momentum as the full-benched Surrey girls appeared to wear down the tired but not frozen Ice.
“But somewhere, despite mall shopping on the trip, the Isfeld girls gutted it out in the fourth quarter led by three timely Avery Snider baskets, a beautiful tic-tac-toe give-and-go between Danielle and Michaela and a fierce rebound put-back lay-in by Chemin and tenacious defence by Melia Ivrinve,” the team spokesperson said.
“The guests from Surrey had no answers and the Ice claimed the consolation championship and seventh-place finish in this very competitive tournament. With lots of basketball and learning still to occur, the Ice are looking forward to a successful season,” said the team spokesperson.
– Isfeld Ice basketball