The BC250 U13 girls team returned home from the first ever National Club Basketball Championships with silver medals in their possession.
Coached by Andrew Gini, Dean Corrado and Les Skelton, the Kelowna-based BC250 girls reached the final at nationals last weekend in Langley, before falling 51-31 to VK from North Vancouver.
The local U13 girls put up a fight early in the game but some key three pointers in the second half would send VK to the win.
Lily Lee was named BC250’s player of the game.
The Okanagan girls went 4-1 in pool play to earn a berth in the semifinals where they defeated Ontario 50-40. Jorja Catt was named the player of the game for BC250.
Coach Andrew Gini was impressed with the team’s play throughout the tournament.
“Phoebe Molgat and Stella La Grange were crazy good on defence and in transition,” Gini said. “Paris Kirk standing at almost six feet was awesome on our press covering the whole court getting her hands on passes everywhere.
“Elana Corrado, Shaelyn Faitala, Denae Skelton handled the point against some tough pressure and grew as players through the tournament.
“We missed Tatum Wade a key ball handler on our team in the finals who played a big role in helping us get to the finals but we have a very deep team of players that are able to play multiple positions each game.”
The BC250 U14 girls, coach by Andrew Gini and Dino Gini, played up an age group in the U15 division at nationals.
Shorthanded and missing some of their key guards, the girls battled hard all weekend, going 2-2 in pool play and reaching the quarterfinals. The BC250 U14s finished in sixth-place, with Tessa Bentley, Lily Pink and Makenna Jacklin receiving player of the game awards during the weekend.
“The best part of our players and our U14 team is they all have a crazy compete level and love for the game,” Gini said. “After every tournament our players are constantly in the gym working on their game outside of practices. Each and every one of them has a crazy work ethic and I am excited to see them continue to grow as players. Not many U14 teams are able to compete against some of the top U15 teams.”
It was a successful club season for BC250 with the U11, U13, U14, U15 and U17 girls teams all competing in the U.S. and winning tournaments throughout Western Canada and Washington.
The five club teams consisted of players from Kamloops, Kelowna and Penticton.
Kennedy Dickie from the U17 team ended up making the final tryouts for the Cadet National Team proving to be one of the top players in her age group in Canada.
Five of the BC250 U15s continued on to play on the provincial team in July: Kassidy Day, Rylee Semeniuk, Jaden Yamamoto, Sophie Brydon and Lexi Corday.
The BC250 program was founded last year to build on the recent successes of girls high school basketball teams in Kelowna and throughout the valley and to give players an opporunity to work on their skills during the spring and summer months.