Coinciding with the recent conclusion to the NBA season, we continue our review of top local basketball teams this week…
In the NBA, the San Antonio Spurs wrapped up a fifth franchise title with a convincing 104-87 win over the defending champion Miami Heat in Game 5 of the finals. Named as MVP of the finals was Kawhi Leonard, the talented young San Antonio forward. The result was sweet revenge for the Spurs and coach Gregg Popovich, who one year ago saw the championship slip away with a heartbreaking Game 7 loss to Miami.
Locally, we didn’t have room last week to fully acknowledge the Dover Bay Dolphins AAA senior girls’ team that placed fifth at the Island tournament. Lisa Salewski coached the team, comprised of players Khyara Clement, Danielle Frinton, Emily Grey, Mikayla Herring-Pletsch, Lindsay Hiemstra, Francesca Maestrello, Lauren McAughren, Paris Robertson, Hannah Rudson, Faye Tuck and Island all-star Emily Shires.
At the AA level, the top local girls’ team was from Wellington Secondary School. This season the Wildcats won the Island championship for the second straight time, qualifying for the provincials from a third consecutive year where they finished fourth. Nicole McRae and Bill Fraser provided the coaching for players Kaitlyn Franklin, Brooke Dendl, Jessica Jobbagy, Shania Sabbas, Amber John, Olivia Mjaaland, Hannah Boas, Sam Paule and all-stars Ally Keir and Victoria Brown.
As for AA boys’ teams, the John Barsby Blazers and Woodlands Eagles placed fifth and seventh respectively at their Island tournament. For Barsby, players were Shawn Arabsky, Chris Degoutiere, Joshua Goldston, J.D. Gross, Matt Hill, Tyler Hill, Brian Peck, North Rainey, Marcus Severe, Cole Smith, Duc Truong, Nathan Vogt, Kyle Vollet, Jeremy White and Henry Zhang. Coaches were Tyler Wells and Colin Boyce.
At Woodlands, Jas Shahi, Dan Smith and Franjo Crnkovic coached players Jakob Brown, Nathan Perry, Garrett Livesey, Martin Hermans, Zack Williams, Griffin Douglas, Shivam Thakur, Jarod Domino, Jordie Cox, Max Mackay, Mike Edwards and Dean Fisher.
In junior boys’ basketball, Dover Bay and Wellington battled it out for top spot this season. The Wellington boys coached by Bobby Fletcher claimed the district title, but the Dover team edged the Wildcats 53-52 in the North Island final. The Dolphins went on to also place first at the Island tournament. Joey Spillman and Kel Reed were coaches for the squad and Jeff Webb was MVP at Islands.
The Dover Bay junior girls’ basketball team also had a strong season, Coached by Rick Hart, the Dover girls finished second at the Island tournament and advanced to a 12th place showing at provincials. Maddy Hart was named as most valuable player at the Island tournament.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.
Ian Thorpe writes about sports Thursdays.