Top (from left) Emilie teBulte

SHSS Bulldogs rally back for big wins at West Kootenay playdowns.

Team makes a strong statement, closing season on a high note

Two out of three ain’t bad, went Meatloaf’s grammatically poor hit song from the eighties. When you haven’t won a single game all year, like the Stanley Humphries Secondary grade 8 girls basketball team, two wins out of three games at the West Kootenay Championships is pretty darn good.

The SHSS Bulldogs played their best basketball of the year at the right time using strong defence and good passing to finish fourth out of seven teams at the West Kootenay Grade 8 Basketball championships played at J.L. Crowe in Trail on Tuesday.

“I’m really proud of this team,” said head coach Craig Lindsay.

“They’ve really improved and it showed on the court. Their defence was really solid and offensively they were really working the ball around and looking for each other. Considering we only had four games all year and hadn’t played in two weeks, it was a very impressive tournament.

“We only had eight healthy bodies and every one of the players stepped up and helped us out.”

SHSS opened up by playing nearby rival Mount Sentinel Wildcats.

The ‘Dogs had played the ‘Cats twice before and both games were close so you knew it would be a good battle.

Former Mount Sentinel student Simone Chernoff had a strong game for SH, leading the attack against her former team with six points and several great passes.

The size and depth of the South Slocan school, however, was too much and they pulled ahead late and won 21-16.

Tiara Anderson led Sentinel with eight points, while Els Hyrniw scored six.

“It was a real battle from start to finish,” said Lindsay. “Mount Sentinel has a strong guard in Hyrniw and a lot of talented post players who can score.

“The two other times we played them it was close as well, in fact we even tied, so we expected a close one.

“They just pulled ahead at the end and we couldn’t close the gap.”

On the consolation side, SHSS easily won their second game, crushing Salmo 30-12 behind eight points and eight rebounds from forward Maddy Gibb. Ashley Fitchett chipped in with five points and several steals.

The Bulldogs last game was a barnburner against a very aggressive Boundary Central team from Midway. SHSS took the lead early 6-2 with some nice passing and drives to the hoop. Boundary caught up with timely baskets from star guard Jessica MacLean to take the lead, 7-6, at half-time.

SHSS used some strong pressure defence to get steals which led to easy baskets as they took the lead in the second half and held on for a 15-12 win.

“It was a real defensive battle, you could say,” said Lindsay. “In the second half, we did a much better job of checking their strong player MacLean.

“Between Sime Kang, Emilie teBulte and Gabby Hanvold, they took turns guarding her and all did well. We also played strong help defence.

“Offensively, we struggled to score and make easy shots, but we stuck with it. They’re a very aggressive, physical team but we held our ground and didn’t back down. All season long this team never got down and never got on each other.

Even after losing all our regular season games, albeit we only played four times, but still the players kept positive and kept working hard. Good job girls, and best of luck next year!”

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