Jessie Hans of the SAMS Grizzlies faces off against the Burns Lake Lakers.

SAMS Girls perform well in Senior Girls North Central Zone Championship

SAMS Girls perform well in Senior Girls North Central Zone Championship

After months of preparation the 2014 Single ‘A’ Girls Basketball Tournament was held at Sir Alexander Mackenzie School last week from February 20-22. Basketball action kept the throngs of local and out-of-town fans entertained from morning until dusk each day.

Teams from all over the North Central Zone came to Bella Coola to compete: Fort Nelson, Cedars Christian (Prince George), Fraser Lake, Fort St. James, Valemount, Northside Christian (Vanderhoof), Burns Lake, Tumbler Ridge along with SAMS.

Day One action saw SAMS in tough against the Burns Lake team. The entire game the score was close with Burns Lake tying the game with about a minute left but the SAMS Girls kept their composure and marched down the floor scoring the winning basket with just seventeen seconds left to nail down the victory!

The victory secured a spot for SAMS to compete against the number one team in the zone, Cedars Christian for the right to carry on to the final. The girls fought valiantly against a great team and bravely competed through injuries but ultimately fell short. In late action on Friday, again before a full house of rabid local fans, SAMS played Fort St. James for the right to move on to compete for third place and the last berth in the Provincials.

Going into the half SAMS was down by one point and came out firing on all cylinders early in the second half leading by as much as five points at one point in time. Unfortunately, the Fort St. James Falcons proved to be a little stronger than our local girls ultimately winning the game 58-51.

On the final day of zone basketball action SAMS took to the court against the Tumbler Ridge Kodiaks defeating them 77-59 to secure fifth place overall in the tournament. Sir Alexander Mackenzie School is very proud of its girls’ team.

The complete tournament results saw Cedars Christian School finish first and earn a berth in the provincials defeating Fraser Lake 103-59 in the final. Fort St. James finished third and took the last provincial berth by defeating Northside Christian 65-41. As mentioned earlier, SAMS and Tumbler Ridge finished fifth and sixth respectively. Burns Lake defeated Mountain Christian School 77-34 in the game to decide seventh and eighth. Finally, Fort Nelson lost 61-39 to Valemount in the game deciding ninth and tenth.

Overall, the Zone Tournament was such a success because of the hard work, organization and dedication of tournament organizers Abra Silver and Melanie Kloss. Thanks to all their time and effort the entire tournament from games to banquet to final award ceremonies went off without a hitch.

There are so many others to thank. A big thank you to Coach Lori George for her endless hours running practices. Without her skill in teaching the girls how to play a team game we would not have had the success we did. Thanks also to Lorrein Gurr and her huge team of concession volunteers. All the proceeds from the concession went to the help defray the costs of hosting the tournament.

Thanks to James Mack Jr. and the community volunteers who ran the scorekeepers table, Caroline Granander for her help with everything from the door to the banquet set-up, to Marshall Hans for his help at the scorekeepers table and for stepping in to referee two of the games. Thanks to Acwsalcta School staff for making all of the arrangements for the two games that were held at Acwsalcta School.

An event of this magnitude would not have been possible without the help of our community from those who came out to watch and support our girls to those who volunteered their time to help run the tournament! Finally, a big thanks goes out to the referees and the all teams, their coaches, managers and the parents that came out to support them. We hope they all enjoyed their time spent in our communities!