The junior girls’ basketball team at Spencer middle school took the ball and ran with it this season.
At the end of the season the Wildcats finished fourth in the league and fifth on the Island.
“It was a great season, (us) girls played well. It was more competitive this year. We didn’t win one game last year,” said 14-year-old forward Jessa Leakey.
This year’s team is made up of most of the same players as the 2009/10 season, Leakey said, but it’s the first year the team was coached by Vic Daniels.
The team consisted of grades 8 and 9 students, but were competing against many teams made up of solely Grade 10 players, such as Belmont secondary school.
“The Grade 10 players were much bigger, stronger and had more experience,” Daniels said.
Grade 9 shooting guard Daisy Chong learned to use her speed as an advantage, Daniels said explaining Daisy, who only stands five-foot-three was up against opposing players as tall as five-foot-10. “It was often miss matched,” he said.
Even though the team found playing against older, stronger players a challenge, point guard Alysha Walton said, “it’s more competitive, but I like it.”
For these younger players to play competitively, they used pre-designed plays and systems into their games. “There were about 12 plays they had to remember,” Daniels said. “If there is a breakdown on one play it doesn’t work.”
Walton, a Grade 8 player, was responsible for choosing the plays.
“They are all bigger than me, but it’s easy for me to read the (opposing) defence,” Walton said.
“She is a very good point guard, she is able to read the opposition’s defence,” Daniels said. “When she came in she had limited skills and could only dribble with her right hand.”
Daniel said all the players were able to work as a team. “You have to go with the talent you have, it wasn’t a deeply talented team,” Daniels said.
The team also had a strong defence against its opposition, who often towered over the Wildcats.
“We had to be one of the strongest defensive teams in the league,” Daniels said. “We finished 500.”
Spencer school sees volleyball boom
Spencer middle school had so many interested players for Grade 7 girls volleyball, it had two teams.
Team 1 and Team 2 competed against each other in the same division. “Each team was very competitive against each other,” said coach Vic Daniels.
Team 1 finished second in the division and fourth in the city. Team 2 finished sixth in the division and missed its shot in the playoffs by one or two wins, Daniels said.
Having two teams made players stronger due to more time on the court, but left no room for subs in the games, Daniels said.
“If someone got hurt or unfocussed, it hurt the team because we had no subs,” Daniels said.
The volleyball season ran from January to March.