NPSS junior girls win home basketball tournament, boys finish second

The junior girls basketball team played at home over the weekend in the Bert Bowes New Years Classic. The girls played Bowes in the first round on Friday afternoon. After a bit of a slow start against a quick, athletic team, the Grizzlies picked up the intensity and finished with a strong win that took them into the semi-finals against Dawson Creek.

Lead by some big minutes from Bella Ziebart, Mykenzie Beech and Haeli Ziegler, the girls battled through four quarters of intense, back and forth play. Down by two in the final minutes, Haeli hit a three to put the girls up 41-40 and win the game.

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The finals on Saturday night found the team in a re-match against Dawson. The girls went down by eight in the first quarter and finished the half down by 10. After a re-group at half-time, the girls came out with a full-court press and quickly closed the gap to within two points. The Grizzlies battled through the second half, going point for point with Dawson. Strong defensive efforts from Jenna Miranda and Mykenzie Beech (averaging five defensive rebounds each) and Bella Ziebart and Danielle Kocher (averaging five steals each) kept the momentum going and the Grizzlies in the game. With some more clutch shooting from Haeli Ziegler and some timely composure at the free throw line, the Grizzlies sealed the win and finished the tournament in first place. Tournament All-Stars were Mykenzie Beech, Haeli Ziegler and Jenna Miranda.

Overall, the girls maintained excellent composure throughout the weekend and were able to stay calm under pressure. They consistently demonstrated their ability to communicate effectively and work together on the floor. Congrats Grizzlies and a huge thank you to Megan Inglis at Bert Bowes for hosting an excellent tournament!

The junior boys basketball team was in Prince George at the DP Todd Junior Basketball tournament this past weekend. The Grizzlies played their first game against Cedars Friday night and got off to a slow start. After a timeout at the 4:00 mark with the boys leading 6-3, the team got things turned around with big minutes from Tristan Stockall, Colton Dyck, and Gryphon Talbot to hold a 38-13 lead at half. In the second half, the bench led by Ryan Quigley and Albert Eisler played big minutes to get the starters rest to be ready for the remainder of the weekend. When the final buzzer sounded the Grizzlies took a 53-39 win to set up a second round match against powerhouse Duchess Park.

The boys once again started slow but were able to keep it a close game in the first half by playing strong defensively. Ethan Middleton and Parker Nielson played big inside against the much taller opponent and forced Duchess to be a shooting team. In the second half, the Grizzlies came out with energy and took control of the game winning the third quarter 15-5. The boys were composed in the fourth quarter using the clock to their advantage and hitting timely shots to close out Duchess with a 42-34 win.

The finals were a rematch of the semi final match up at the Kelly Road Tournament in December against a much-improved College Heights team. The Grizzlies came out with a lot of heart but ultimately ran out of gas. The College Heights bench stepped up and played big minutes and helped their team win the third quarter 20-8. The Grizzlies put pressure on College Heights in the fourth quarter and made a run but with four minutes left in the game College Heights ultimately pulled away for the tournament win.

Next Up: Jan. 25 and 26, the junior teams are in Dawson Creek and the senior teams are in Prince George.

Male Athlete of the Week: Tristan Stockall (Gr. 10, Jr Boys Basketball)

Female Athlete of the Week: Mykenzie Beech (Gr. 10, Jr Girls Basketball)

— Samantha Stackhouse 

© Copyright Alaska Highway News


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