Wildcats scratch and claw way to provincial berth

The Wellington Wildcats senior AA girls’ basketball team is off to provincials following a solid performance at the Island championships.

Montana Mjaaland of the Wellington Wildcats takes on a pair of Brentwood College opponents during the senior girls AA Island championships Friday at Wellington Secondary School.

Montana Mjaaland of the Wellington Wildcats takes on a pair of Brentwood College opponents during the senior girls AA Island championships Friday at Wellington Secondary School.

The Wellington Wildcats senior AA girls’ basketball team is off to provincials following a solid performance at the Island championships.

The host team finished 2-1, good for second place and will be in Kamloops Tuesday (March 6) for provincials.

Wellington opened the tournament Thursday with a  77-22 win over Brentwood College. Sara Simovic finished with 21 points and Mariah Van Sickle scored 16.

The Wildcats fought back for a 48-42 victory over provincially-ranked St. Michaels University in the second round with Simovic and Van Sickle each scoring 16 points.

Wellington took on Victoria’s Lambrick Park in Saturday’s final and dropped a 95-60 decision. Simovic scored 23 points, Van Sickle 11 and Vicky Brown added nine.

Nicole McRae, Wildcats coach, said her team played well in the tournament.

“Lambrick is ranked No. 2 in the province and has a strong edge from the three-point line,” she said. “They have some big players over six feet who are hard to stop, but we played well.”

Wellington was down nine points against St. Michael’s at the half and seven points going into the fourth quarter but didn’t quit, going on an 11-0 run for the victory.

“The game against St. Michael’s was an exciting one,” said McRae. “We were down the entire game but didn’t quit and qualified for provincials with the win.”

The Wildcats are going into provincials with a positive attitude and the coach expects good things.

“Beating St. Michael’s should give us a good ranking and we’ve played No. 1 ranked Britannia twice,” she said. “We played them close and lost, but I’m happy with what we accomplished.”

Nanaimo District Secondary School Islanders finished 1-2 in the tournament, losing 93-46 to Lambrick Park, defeating Shawnigan Lake 65-43 and losing 55-41 to St. Michael’s.

Coach Jim Richardson gave a nod to the play of Leigh Richardson, Jordyn Taylor and Pauline Dawson.

“This tournament and all season long the girls played well,” he said.

Richardson led the Islanders with 55 points over the weekend.

COURT SHORTS … Woodlands’ senior AA girls were also involved in the tournament. Click here for more.

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