Maybe Next Year
Adversity, difficulties, misfortune became something the Senior Girls Basketball team became very familiar with.
Hurdle #1 – an extended Senior A Volleyball season at provincials including four of our five starters, followed by a three week Winter Break meant that our full team didn’t play their first game until mid-January. Hurdle #2 – Covid. The two weeks where we had scheduled our home league and exhibition games was when Omicron took its toll on our team, forcing canceled games and no Brentwood livestreams. Hurdle #3 - we headed into playoffs having only played five games.
But really, the point of a hurdle is to get over it. And that we did … cruising through North Islands, setting ourselves up for the #1 spot from the North. Then at Islands, we shocked a top-seeded SMUS team in our first half up by three, proving that we have what it takes. Alas, our eventual loss meant that we Island Silver Medallists and seeded 10th going into Provincials.
Mr Patel recognized the challenges we had faced this season as the team sat in his office for his pre-Provincials chat. “Be resilient in the face of adversity” he advised. We took that to heart.
Our first-round game had us playing against number seventh, Southridge. Brentwood coaches Ms Napier, Ms Anderson, and Ms Toporowski scoured the internet to find game film of our competitors, only to find one game from December - so we knew what we were up against and were well prepared for the matchup.
Unfortunately, though we had several chances at the line to bury the dagger, our foul shots were not dropping and the team fell short by one basket 64-66.
While some tears might’ve been shed, spirits were not crushed. Coach Napier encouraged the team as she recited that “Bad teams lose and mope about it. Good teams lose, get back on their feet, and win the next one.”
So, we moved, heads high onto our next challenge: St. John Brebeuf who competed all season in a league with the likes of #1 ranked Langley Christian, so we knew they would be tough. Brentwood battled hard in a gritty contest and pulled off a convincing win, but had to face the loss of key scorer, and Co-Captain, Miranda NP, Alex ‘23, as she drove to the paint and ended up tearing her ACL and fracturing her tibia. (Update on Miranda: She flew to Mexico to get her surgery ASAP, and has already started her recovery).
Hurdle #4 - continuing through the rest of Provincials without a key player. We knew we would be in tough against Lambrick whom we had beat by five at Islands - with Miranda. The team dug deep though and through a number of lead changes, foul trouble and a surprise visit from a Spanish father, the girls made their supporters proud, despite falling by five points.
By the final game, the team was both emotionally and physically exhausted as they faced Collingwood. It would be the last high school basketball game for seniors Jocie L, Sophie B,and Eric E, all Mack ‘22 who all earned the start in their last hoops stint in Red and Black. Again, the team was tenacious as all 15 players competed their hearts out, leaving everyone proud, but falling short by eight points to earn 12th place in the province.
In years to come we will probably forget all of these results as it will be the memories that we will carry with us: the punctuality-challenged squad members, a solo in the food court, kangaroo court penalties, evening charades, and furries sightings.
We will also remember that despite the results, it was our hustle, grit, tenacity and character that grabbed adversity by the scruff of the neck and dragged it over those hurdles, kicking and screaming, all the way through the season until that final horn at Provincials in 2022.
Maybe next year.
Jensa NG, Mack ‘23, Co-Captain