Golden finale for Heat U17 girls
The Junior Heat U17 girls hoops' squad couldn't have asked for a better conclusion to the 2014 basketball season.
Bobby Mitchell's Kelowna-based team went undefeated (5-0) to capture the title at the season-ending Amazon Swoosh Series 4 tourney in Edmonton.
Jordan Korol, Avery Watson, Brettelle Ellerton, Megan Blair-Admussen, and Hannah Friesen all scored in double figures as the Heat rolled to a 94-point victory over Fort Mac in their opening game.
In Game 2, Danielle Ruocco had 14 points, four assists, and four rebounds in a 67-26 victory over Swoosh U17.
In their third game, Korol put up 23 points and 12 boards en route to a 55-47 Heat win over CBA U17.
The fourth game saw the Heat girls beat their U16 Jr. Heat club mates 64-57, with Blair-Admussen, Emma Johnson and Korol netting 14 points each.
The finale saw the Heat take down CBA U17 for a second time, 68-52. Korol led the way with 26 points and eight boards, Blair-Admussen had 16 points and eight rebounds, while Friesen tallied six points and nine boards.
Other key contributors were Rebekah Salway, Vicky Voth, Jade Mackie and Avery Watson.
Coach Bobby Mitchell was thrilled with the tournament win and the season as a whole, as the Heat finished with a 17-5 record.
"Overall, I was privileged to coach such a special group of young women," said Mitchell. "I am very proud of them for everything they did this summer on and off the court. This team bought into the mindset of 'team first' and they showed they were willing to sacrifice a little bit of themselves for the greater good of the team and with a group this talented that was the only way we could have success. Throughout the year, this team received many compliments from other coaches, parents, refs, and even players.
The Junior Heat U16 girls concluded their season at the Amazon Spring Tournament in Edmonton last weekend, posting a 3-2 record.
The Heat defeated Spartans U17 53-21, Edmonton Swoosh U17 64-50 and 41-35, while losing 65-46 to Calgary Cobras 17 and 64-50 to U17 Junior Heat.
The U16s went 14-7 during the club season—with a 13-3 record in Canada— with two of the losses coming against the U17 junior Heat.
"Overall we are very happy with the girls progress this season," said coach Kim Whlepton. "As a U16 team competing primarily in U17 divisions, the girls showed they can play and win at a high level. We are excited to see how they progress over the course of the high school season and look forward having them back with the Jr Heat program next spring. It's great to see basketball in the Okanagan continue to grow and challenge Lower Mainland teams improving the overall quality of players produced in B.C."
The Junior Heat U17 boys basketball team fared well against some international competition last weekend, posting a 2-2 record at the Pango's Invitational in Long Beach, CA.
After digging a hole in their opening game and falling behind by 20 points against LA Elite, the Heat responded well, with a strong comeback falling just short in a 74-70 loss.
In Game 2, the Jr. Heat led most of the way but couldn't make shots down the stretch to lose 54-47 to a Utah Elite team.
The Okanagan boys bounced back in thew third game, downing a San Diego Elite team 60-49.
In their finale, another win for the Heat 61-57 over Arizona Rebels Elite.
"We were in every game, we competed hard, we learned to adjust to a physical game and we played some excellent basketball," said U17 Heat coach Dino Gini. "It was an experience that will be remembered for a long time, enjoying the elite competition, finding our way out of LAX airport, visiting Laguna Beach, and hanging out and enjoying everyone's company. A fun trip with four tough games and an experience that everyone will remember. So proud of each and every player."
The Junior Heat U16 boys team came up empty at the Pango's Invitational in Long Beach, but competed with their opponents in three of the four games they played.
Coach Andrew Gini summarized his team's effort in the last tournament of the season:
John Landie had a couple dunks throughout the tournament and blocked countless shots while Treyton Waardenburg and Vinayak Pendharkar handled the ball well as our two point guards, both taking on leadership roles for our team. Peter Warshawski showed more heart and hustle than any player I have ever seen play," Gini said. "Nick Berg, Seth Bludell, Nick Mercuri and Darren Hait became more aggressive as the tournament progressed with some big plays down the stretch in our second game. Nick Carter hit a number of big threes in our second game and played outstanding defence throughout the tournament. Noah Alleyne unfortunately got hit in the first game battling hard for rebounds and had to sit out for the remainder of the tournament even though he was determined to play through it; a testament to his heart and passion for the game. It was a great tournament and a great year with a ton of growth from every player on the team from start to finish."