Senior Girls Basketball
The 2014-15 season for the Brentwood’s Senior Girls was far from dull with multiple nail-biting games going down to the final buzzer and a strong playoff run despite multiple adversities.
We started the year off on a winning note by going 4-0 prior to the December break that included victories over GISS, Shawnigan, Belmont and NDSS.
Our season started back up in January as Brentwood hosted the inaugural Ogilvie Invitational Tournament, named in honour of the late Clyde Ogilvie for his contributions to the girls’ basketball programme and the school at large.
The following weekend, the team faced stiff competition at the Victoria Police Tournament at SMUS. This weekend allowed the girls to test themselves against many of the top AA and AAA schools on the Island. A close two-point loss to Wellington along with a defeat at the hands of PCS was followed up with victories over Spectrum and Mt. Doug.
Heading up north to Courtenay the following weekend to compete against the best AA teams in the north Island, the focus of the team was on coming together as a unit, reducing turnovers, executing on the offensive end with greater efficiency and tightening up our defence. The tournament saw the team play competitively against the eventual 3rd place team on the Island, Mark Isfeld, and fall to the eventual Island Champions from Ballenas. A chance for redemption was offered on Saturday in the form of a rematch against Wellington. The team responded with a heightened sense of defensive intensity as they turned a 2-point defeat a week earlier into a 51-point blowout victory.
Highlights of our season were our two Showcase games against Shawnigan. Our first meeting in early December was played out in front of a package gymnasium at Shawnigan. The game was tightly contested throughout and the outcome was decided in the last minutes of the game as we emerged with a three-point victory. The second league game against Shawnigan was played at Brentwood in late January. In front of a packed Woodward Sportsplex, the team struggled through a poor first half shooting performance that saw us put up a season low 15 first half points. After struggling to defend dribble penetration from Shawnigan’s guards, the team came out of halftime with adjustments in hand on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. A 14-3 Brentwood run to start the second half narrowed the score but the team entered the fourth quarter still trailing by eight points.
Cue the cardiac kids.
Brentwood controlled the opening 5 minutes of the fourth quarter and took their first lead with less than two minutes remaining in the game. Big shots from Tajzha D and excellent interior passing from Petra J gave the team a chance to win the game in the final few possessions. With a minute left, McKenna H calmly stepped to the line and knocked down her first two free throws of the year against the background of thunderous noise from the riotous Brentwood faithful in attendance. As the final seconds ticked off the clock, the entire sea of red celebrated a thrilling come-from-behind 53-51 Brentwood victory. The win was not only emotionally thrilling but also secured the #1 seed in the Mid-island for the team with a 3-1 record. As the final home basketball game for the graduating seniors on the team (Tajzha D, Cevina G, Faryn B, Hannah C & Elena T) it was a fitting sendoff from the friendly confines of the Woodward Sportsplex.
The team headed into the South Island tournament with the top spot in the Mid-island league, but injuries and absences depleted both our starting lineup and our depth off the bench. We knew that with three strong teams from Victoria in the field, making it to Islands would not be a simple walk in the park. With pure determination and some help from a few members of the junior girls team, we were able to clinch a spot in the Island Championship by defeating Shawnigan for the third time this season.
Though our season finished at Islands with consecutive losses to Ballenas and Wellington, we still held our heads high knowing that as a team we had risen to the occasion when the stage was the largest and left our best efforts on the court, regardless of the final outcome of the game. In our game final of the season, Sarah L had her best performance finishing in transition and Avi S hounded the opposition guards full court from the entire game, causing numerous turnovers.
The team is immensely thankful for our two managers, Pat P and Elena T, for keeping track of the team’s stats, filling water bottles, and being amazing supporters of our team and program all season. None of our success this year could have been attainable without the extraordinary amount of time and effort put in by our coaches, Mr. Warner and Mr. Anderson. We are all truly grateful for their devotion to our team. We wish the best of luck to next year’s squad; we know that the programme has a very bright future ahead of it.
Cevina G, Hope ‘15, Captain