The Isfeld Ice junior girls basketball team perservered and won the Vanier Towhees Christmas Tournament this past weekend (Dec. 16-17).
Isfeld, coached by Santa Claus in the final game, defeated a very game Alberni Armada squad in the finals. Isfeld advanced to the championship by defeating a young Ballenas Whalers team from Parksville and a hard-working, younger Vanier B team who filled in admirably for a no-show team from Nanaimo.
In those games, MacKenzie Kirk won the assists contest while Shemyn Fayd edged Camille Bourget out for the rebounding title and hardworking newcomer Rachel Dunn was in the running for the steals competition.
In the final the Isfeld girls jumped out to an early lead led by aggressive drives to the basket by Leah Cicon, Michaela Ashlee and Melia Irvine. Throughout the game Isfeld did a better job rebounding than the visitors from the Alberni Valley led by Shemyn, Yasmine, Camille, Leah and Hana.
However, Alberni turned on the heat in the third quarter, outscoring the Ice 14-4 and taking a five-point lead going into the fourth frame.
Tight defence plus some key baskets and fouls shots by Avery Snider, Yasmine and Michaela and two long-distance bombs from downtown Courtenay by Danielle VanBergen turned the tide back in favour of the Ice as they returned the favour, outscoring their opponents 14-4 in the fourth to win the championship. “Tough Alberni remains a formidable foe in league play for the girls,” coach Claus said.
After some important practices over the holidays, besides basketball learning and as well as to run off the Christmas turkey, the Ice girls resume exhibition play in Victoria in January.
“Special thanks to Heidi Zirkl and all for hosting and arranging all the details at Vanier for the well-run junior girls tournament,” coach Claus added.