Elementary school basketball unpredictable, entertaining

NANAIMO – It’s onto the hardwood this week, as we catch up on news from the world of basketball.

It’s onto the hardwood this week, as we catch up on news from the world of basketball.

At the professional level, to nobody’s surprise, NBA playoffs concluded recently with another title for the talent-laden Miami Heat.

Full credit to the San Antonio Spurs for pushing the Heat to a final and deciding Game 7.

But in that deciding game it was 95-88 for Miami for their second-straight championship, and a second-straight MVP award for LeBron James.

Much less predictable, and perhaps just as entertaining, were the playoffs for bantam (born 1999-2000) boys’ and girls’ basketball teams in local elementary schools this year.

We’ll start with girls’ results this week, first from larger schools with a population of more than 275 students. Melissa Kristiansen coordinated the league, and sends word that 15 teams took part in post-season playoffs.

Eventually earning the title of district champions in those playoffs were the girls representing Rutherford Elementary. Members of the winning team were Cara Dunlop, Robyn Van Zyl, Shayesteh Fouladgar, Leigh Hanika, Reeth Kahlon, Brianne Knowles, Aween Masmoor, Niamh Murphy, Jessica Ory, Taylor Patenaude and Katie Brown.

Coaches for the championship team were Walter Fields and Wes Pascoe, with Nicolette Zuydervelt the sponsor.

Runners-up were the squad from Randerson Ridge. Coached by Gary Gribling and Barry French, team members were Mady East, Carly Maley, Julia DeWolfe, Lindsay O’Donnell, Shirin Anjarwalla, Shayla Frinton, Aila Thompson, Deyana Stephenson, Olivia Martin Blois, Elizabeth Ramey, Sophia Sung, Sophie Scobie, Nicole Briggs, Christina Harry, Jessica Harry, Katelin Munn, Priya Ramash, Cailyn Pady and Lana Herringer.

In the consolation final, Georgia Avenue got past Pleasant Valley to claim third place.

Chris Pagan coached Georgia Avenue’s roster of Elizabeth Duerden, Kaelyn Brill, Morgan Puglas, Shalimar Joe, Raven McDonald, Laurissa Yake, Kimmie Bui, Brandi Quezance, Hanna Lyle, Kylene Graham, Krysta McGuffie, and Emily Dinh.

Pleasant Valley players were Georgia Wheat, Ashlynn Manson, Jordyn Clement, Makenna Yoxall, Zoe Saunders, Cassidy Parulsai, and Mieka Blokker. Coaching the girls was Jeannette Clement, with Donna Gannon the staff sponsor.

Mike Lundine was the coordinator for the bantam girls’ league for teams from smaller elementary schools.

Playoffs involving 12 teams concluded with Bayview claiming a narrow win over Pauline Haarer for first place.

Representing Bayview were players Ainsley Allan, Ashiel Marshall, Chaelee Jones, Chelsie Seward-Peall, Cheyanne Jones, Isosceles Knight, Kaitlyn McMahon-White, Maddie Crichton, Maliasha Thorne-Seward, Megan August, Natasha Ladouceur, and Wanda Touchie.

Jennifer White coached the team, and staff sponsors were Jennifer Stringer and Heather Chapman.

Dave O’Sullivan coached the runner-up Pauline Haarer group, comprised of players Jessica Johnson, O-Lin Metz, Jenna Falkenberg, Sarah Kirkhope, Madeleine Thorkelsson, Rachel Harding, Tasia MacMillan, Erin O’Sullivan, and Isabella Rule.

Christiane Phaneuf, assisted by Natalie Fletcher, Alan Richardson, and Ravah Clermont, coached the Ecole Oceane team to a third-place finish.

On the court were players Melodie Dolbec, Claudia Fletcher, Gabrielle Gilbert, Coral Brouard-Bennie, Pebbles Clermont, Maggie Giordano, Jennah Goguillot, Rowena Blais and Gabrielle Belanger.

The fourth-place pennant in girls’ basketball playoffs for small schools went to Davis Road Elementary.

Erin Dovey, Cheryl Lowrence, and Gord Henry provided the coaching for players Olivia Mazurenko, Hannah Ronmark, Sarah Kedves, Marina Anderson, Megan Henry, Sarah Craig, Sarah Gabrielson, Sarah Rocque, Sydney Ennis, Ella Van Horne, Jade McNab and Skylar Schoor.

Next week we’ll review results from boys’ basketball playoffs.

Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.

Ian Thorpe writes about sports on Thursdays.

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