Coaches can harp on the same instructions all season long, but players won’t do everything they’re asked until they’re ready.
In the gold medal game of the Junior Girls Provincial Basketball Championships in Langley on Saturday (March 10), the Oak Bay Breakers junior girls basketball team finally proved they were ready.
The Breakers defeated the South Kamloops Titans 47-41 to win the provincial title, and keep the Titans from sweeping the girls provincial hoops trophies.
It showed the Breakers had been listening to what coach Brandon Ellis had been barking, the coach said.
“The girls finally did everything we had worked on all year, back screens, boxing-out, offensive execution and amazing defence.”
The key was getting through the semifinals, said Ellis, something the Bays couldn’t do last year.
“For any junior players, (the final four) is nerve-wracking.”
The result was an extremely low-scoring semifinal win, 34-33 over the St. Thomas Aquinas Fighting Saints. It was the opposite of 2011, when the Breakers missed the final by one point.
“There wasn’t not a lot of offense going on,” Ellis said. “We just kept telling the players defence will win the game, and to stick with it.”
Oak Bay’s scoring leaders in the semifinal were Danielle Cavelti and Madelyn Brunt with seven points each. Chloe Campbell was clutch with 12 rebounds.
Tournament MVP Morgan Roskelley scored 16 points and picked up five rebounds against South Kamloops in the final. The Grade 9 point guard was a huge part of the Breakers’ second consecutive Island title this year, and will be closely debated over in the selection process the for next season’s senior squad, despite having another year of junior eligibility.
“She controlled the pressure in the final and is the general wheel for us on the floor,” Ellis said.
Grade 10s Chloe Campbell and Marisa Harrington were named to the tournament’s first and second all-star teams, respectively.