Skeena Middle School’s junior girls’ basketball team finished the 2013/2014 season third out of seven – no small accomplishment for the only team comprised solely of Grade 9’s.
The six other northwest zone schools saw both Grade 9’s and Grade 10’s suit up, but Skeena stayed competitive with their 10 dedicated younger players.
The team won nine out of 11 games throughout the regular season to head into zone playoffs ranked third.
They tipped off against Smithers Secondary School Feb. 14 in game one of zones in Smithers, with coach Toni Nisyok telling the girls this was the game they needed to win if they wanted to place in the top three.
The team didn’t disappoint, winning 25-18 – Brittany Peden was the high scorer with eight points, and coming off the bench Anja Hanington netted five points. Marrick Zips and Emma Kenmuir helped out the win dropping four points each. Shivohn Peters and Jamie Gosnell saw two points each for Skeena.
The total team effort saw help from both ends of the court – Briana Greer and Ashley Nisyok caused many turnovers for Smithers.
Next up, Skeena went up against the second ranked team, Charles Hays Secondary, knowing it was going to be a tough game.
“Charles Hays had 15 players and we knew they would run us,” said coach Toni Nisyok. “The girls played their best but we just couldn’t hit our shots.”
The loss meant they would play for third or fourth place against Houston.
The team came out running to win the game 29-14.
“This was a game the girls wanted, and they performed awesome,” she said.
Emma Kenmuir was the high scorer with seven points, with Peden and Hanington right behind her with six points. Peters dropped four points, and Zips, Cassidy Pavao, and Brianna Ouelett all scored two points each to help give the team the third place finish.