If you want to achieve the best you can be, it’s necessary to get out of the comfort zone and compete against opposition that will take you to your limits. As a result, the Smithers Secondary Gryphons girls basketball team was off and running last weekend as they headed to the Skyline Invitational held at the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbottsford.
The tournament, which featured the best AA and AAA teams in the province, proved to be as much as the local team could handle and provided them with an opportunity to discover the strengths and weaknesses they will need to work on as they begin their quest for a high provincial ranking by the end of the season.
Coach Chris van der Mark was pleased with the one win and three loss record the team finished the weekend with.
“It was the first time that the girls had played a game together since March, and we’ve only had one full practice,” he said, and as a result they were a bit rusty in their execution.
Not to make excuses but in terms of some explanation, van der Mark said that many of the opposition players had access to club teams throughout the year and that some of the players were members of national teams.
van der Mark is optimistic about what the competition showed for the team.
“It is also exciting to note that we had only Grade 11 players on the floor, and that bodes well as we look to break into the top 10 this year and maybe even higher next year with a roster of primarily Grade 12s,” he said.
Olivia Davey, Haley Hanchard, Tamiya Ness, and Braelyn Berarducci all received player of the game honours, and all players showed very good moments.
The girls next head to Prince George this Thursday and Friday where they will play another top team in the sixth-ranked Duchess Park Condors at the annual Condor Classic.