Jordan Jacobs, Sports Writer
The Junior girls basketball team has been dominating the competition with a record of 17-0 for the season so far. However, this past weekend gave the Gators a run for their money when a close game against the Kelowna Owls had coaches, players and parents wondering what was going to happen next.
The Tournament’s final game was held at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary on Saturday, January 16th. It was going to be the first time the two teams had seen each other and being ranked #1 (Walnut Grove) and #2 (Kelowna) in the province the game proved to be an exciting matchup.
The score was close the entire time with the Gators trailing in the third and part of the fourth quarter. However, the gators pulled through in the last five minutes with a 22-8 run over Kelowna. This was made possible with the great foul shot shooting of Natalia Monro and Rolande Taylor. Monro, who along with Taylor got Player of the Game awards thinks the team’s athleticism plays a big part in their success.
“Our team’s advantage is how well we fast break with the ball and how we play with a lot of intensity.”
Overall the Gators beat the owls 63-55 with great shooting from Tavia Rowell who led all scorers with 30 points. Rowell, when asked on what the team needs to do to keep improving says that they need to be shooting everyday, practising ball handling and in general keep getting stronger. A busy practice schedule for the girls including 3-4 practices a week, helps check off most of these boxes. But with a lot of physical activity comes injury. The gators have had three major injuries among players that have resulted in teammates not being able to play for weeks including broken fingers, sprained ankles ect. Natalie Rathler, who had a great game back off of a concussion injury on Saturday mentions that she learned a lot from being on the bench.
“When you are so in the moment, in the game you don’t realize how much of a relationship you have with your players. But, while you’re on the bench you can see the great bond and the chemistry between teammates.”
The Gators have an upcoming tournament this weekend at WGSS so make sure to come out and support this great junior girls team!