by Stephen Dafoe
The Morinville Sabretooths U15 Girls returned to Morinville this past weekend with the gold medal in the Alberta Basketball Youth Provincials.
Made up of athletes in Grade 8 and 9 from seven different schools throughout Sturgeon County, the Team, coached by Samantha Ringuette went undefeated this season.
The U15 Girls defeated Northwest from Edmonton in the Edmonton Youth Basketball Association (EYBA) league finals in February to earn Morinville the league champion title.
This past weekend the U15 Girls fought past Yellowknife, Leduc and Southwest Edmonton to take the provincial champion title.
“In game one of Provincials, the girls faced a rough Yellowknife team that made them work for their shots,” Ringuette told Morinville News Saturday night. “The girls held onto an early lead to finish the first quarter up 12-7. After three quarters, the Sabretooths still held a small lead and some excellent defense in the 4th had the game finish in a 52-39 win for Morinville. Kim Rosendahl lead the team in scoring with 19 and Maya Van Koughnett and Robyn Christensen helped with 11 each.
Ringuette said Game 2, where they faced off against their league rivals The Leduc Lightning, was the hardest game of the tournament.
“The team was back and forth the entire way with Morinville’s biggest lead being by only four points,” Ringuette said, adding Morinville found themselves down by one point with less than a minute remaining. “An excellent defensive play by Julia Pleasants and a solid screen by Robyn Christensen allowed Kim Rosendahl to finish an open layup. With 30 seconds left and up one, the Sabretooths wasted the clock and then some strong defense stopped Leduc for a nail-biting victory. Kim Rosendahl lead the team in scoring with 15 while Robyn Christensen contributed 12.”
The 51-50 win sent the Sabretooths to the final game against Southwest from Edmonton, a team Ringuette said her team had played twice before.
“An incredibly strong start and solid 3-point shooting by Maya Van Koughnett and Julia Pleasants had Southwest spinning and down 29-13 at the half,” Ringuette said. “In the final half of the game, Southwest stormed back with some great offensive plays and Morinville’s lead was cut shorter. The game ended 42-35 in favour of Morinville for the gold medal.
Julia Pleasants lead the team in scoring with 17 points, including four 3-point shots.
Jace-Lyn Seibel – Lilian Shick School
Kim Rosendahl – Morinville Community High School
Abby Biddiscombe – Camilla School
Robyn Christensen – Gibbons School
Hailey Steele – Morinville Community High School
Maya Van Koughnett – Namao School
Katelyn Rosendahl – Morinville Community High School
Lauren Nikiforuk – Namao School
Julia Pleasants – Camilla School
Eden Foss – G. H. Primeau School
Sarah Luger – Redwater School