BY IAN THORPE
Continuing last week’s review of top local basketball teams for the past season, we’ll start by acknowledging the junior girls’ squad from Nanaimo District Secondary. The junior Islanders won the North Island title, were second at Islands and went on to compete at provincials. Representing their school were players Ally Wiebe, Sam Hall, Ashley Carswell, Jasmine Milburn, Sessaly Buck, Arielle Dupuis, Amanda Merner, Ava Johnson, Jayden Saywell, Taya Kirk, Erin Jensen and Jazmine Wilkinson. Coaches were Glenn Johnson and Rachel Kirk.
Meanwhile, the junior boys’ team from Dover Bay Secondary was tops in its division. Coach Joey Spillman saw his group finish second at North Islands, fourth at the Islands and go on to compete at provincials. Players were Ethan Hart, Jesse Dalziel, Brad Lansdell, Anoop Bassi, Nathan Olson, Cabel Kotai, Nate Seaman, Reney Van Rensburg, Jack Harrison, Bernard Baluran, Owen Bray, Shawn Lansdell, Felix Maghakyan and Ben Munger.
In the league for Grade 8 girls, the team from Wellington Secondary won the district championships this year. Karl Tarwitz and Bruce Harvey coached players Madison Paugh, Jayla Franklin, Keira Tanti, Sam Hynninen, Megan Duifhuis, Mikyla Kang, Sara Andrews, Bre Bennett, Hannah Hitchen, Delainee John, Ava Folz, Brooklyn Munson and Courtney Branchi.
Elementary school basketball this year saw the leagues for smaller schools (fewer than 310 students) co-ordinated by Alana Lavery. She sends word that the bantam boys’ division playoffs resulted in both first and second-place finishes for entries from Cilaire Elementary. Claiming first place was the school’s Team Blue coached by Scott Lavery. The playing roster included Luke Lavery, Christos Vassilopolous, Adam King, Rhys Murray, Rowan Baker, Riley Clay, Greg Hayden and Brady Allen.
On the runner-up Team White from Cilaire were Adam Jacklin, Nate Smith, Colten Drainville, Kyle Kirstiansen, Liam St. Onge, Allen Wang, Jaiden King and Daniel O’Leary. Coach for the team was Yvan St. Onge and sponsor was Darren Dickie.
In third place came Departure Bay, coached by Donna Larsen. Representing their school were players Mark Gede, Carson Somerville, Diego Rangel-Mireles, Billy Whelan, Jacob Wootton, Cameron Lott, Rio Shoda-Dooher, Ronin Laurie, Logan Breuker, Zak Zhang and Jason Jung. The district’s fourth-place pennant was claimed by École Océane.
Bantam girls’ basketball playoffs for small schools produced another first-place finish for Cilaire. The championship team was coached by Justine Graydon and included players Ryleigh Handby, Carys Menard, Caitlin Smith, Carissa Hayden, Ava Senini-Russell, Alex Kossey, Althea Bernabe, Madison Toma, Anna Jalbert and Sarah Stevenson. Runners-up were the girls from Rutherford.
Placing third came the Georgia Avenue entry coached by Will Johnson and Catherine Wicks. On the court for their team were players Megan Atchison, Svea Debruin-Davis, Breanna Smith, Selina Billy, Tyanna Currell, Taryn Curtis, Keanna Johnson, Brooke-Lynn Laity, Seasha Larabee, Haylie Munro, Danielle Robinson, Ally Sowden, Cayla Storch, Krysten Thomas, Synaizjah Swan and Hannah McCormick.
Pauline Haarer took home the fourth-place pennant.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair and show good sportsmanship.