The Fernie Secondary School’s Sr. Girls basketball team wrapped up their season with provincials over the weekend of Mar. 9 to 12 in Duncan B.C.
Upon entering the tournament the team was ranked as number 15, when they left the tournament they had moved up a spot.
“We finished 14th but we were seated 15th coming in so we finished above our seating which is good,” said John Mill, the teams head coach. “There were 16 teams from all over B.C. We are in the smallest division of schools, the A tier. The first team we played was Mulgrave, which is a private school in West Vancouver. They were ranked as second in the province coming into the tournament.”
To be ranked as an A tier, schools must have 80 or less graduates.
“Our school will have about 50 grads. Girls and boys are ranked a little different in tiers. To be a single A school we have to be 80 or lower for girls in grade eleven or twelve,” said Mill. “The school sizes are fairly similar, some will even have smaller schools. We are probably looking at schools with graduation classes from anywhere between 70 and 80 kids to a lot smaller.”
“In our second game we played Bulkley Valley Christian, which is a team from Smithers. We are spread out all over the province.”
Despite the team only winning one game, they were in contention to win three out of four at the tournament.
“We just got off to a few bad starts and had difficulty coming back from the deficits. We certainly played better in the second half of those two losses. They feel pretty good about it,” said Mill. “They gave it what they had and they certainly saw that the competition was tough. They felt really positive about getting there and felt pretty good about the whole experience.”
The girls had a good shot at being ranked a lot higher, according to Mill.
“That was the goal all along; I thought we had a really good chance in our second game. If we had won that we would have not been in the 13 to 16 rank range, instead we would have been put in the eight to 12 range,” said Mill. “We thought we had a good chance, we just got off to a poor start and couldn’t make the points back despite a good second half.”
Overall, Mill was happy with the team’s performance especially after all the hardships they overcame.
“I was happy. It has been a tough year. We have been through some injuries and the accident that involved one of our players. It was a struggle at times this year with numbers. But I certainly think they saved their best basketball for the end of the year,” said Mill. “It’s been a pleasure working with these girls, they have gone through a lot of adversity this year and hung in. They were rewarded for all the work they have done over the year.”
When asked if he is excited to return to the court next season, Mill responded with, “Always.”