Vanderhoof’s Viqueens finished second at their at-home invitational tournament this past weekend, losing to the Condors from Prince George’s Duchess Park Secondary 45-71.
Hosted by Nechako Valley Secondary’s senior girls basketball team from Jan. 8 to 9, the regional event was attended by eight schools from Smithers, Terrace, Prince Rupert, and Prince George.
“Today, Duchess came to play,” said Vaughn Mueller, coach of NVSS’s senior girls basketball team. “We had a real tight game with them last time, and they’ve got good weapons and experience.”
The Viqueens last played the Condors at the Duchess Park Invitational, losing narrowly by five points gained within the game’s last minute.
“They got us this time, but we’ll be back,” Mueller said, adding that the Viqueens currently need to work on free throws and finishing easy baskets. “If we can finish that in a consistent basis, we can compete.” He added, “We did that last time.”
The Viqueens’ most valuable player of the final game was Kassidy Dick, and the Heart and Hustle Award went to Jordan Andres. Overall, the tournament’s all-star award was won by Katie Verduzco, and the best defence player was Jordan Andres.
On Saturday, the Viqueens kicked off the tournament by defeating the Royals from Bulkley Valley Christian School at 93-32, with Katie Verduzco as Most Valuable Player and Madyson Blattner winning the Heart and Hustle Award.
Vaughn MuellerCoach of NVSS Senior Girls Basketball
It has been a fantastic start for the senior girls basketball team, but not unexpected. The senior girls are off to an excellent start to the season after going 9-3 up to the Christmas break. The 10th ranked Viqueens are looking to make some noise in the provincial rankings in the next poll; they have finished third at the Ross Shepherd invitational in Edmonton, second in the GW Graham invitational and second again at the Duchess Park Invitational, narrowly losing to the third ranked Condors by five points.
It was a fantastic game! Both teams fought hard after a mid-third quarter dry spell left the Viqueens down by 14 points. But the fourth quarter was an indicator of their perseverance as they clawed their way back closing the condors lead to just one point with just 49 seconds left in the game, but a few ill-timed turn overs allowed the Condors to take a five-point lead and that’s how it ended up with Duchess Park escaping with a 65-60 victory.
Coach Vaughn Mueller said, “The girls worked very hard, and showed respect for the Condors, but no fear.” That fourth quarter was like two heavy weights going toe to toe, but in the end the Viqueens just didn’t quite have the legs.
“Going into the fourth we were down by 14 points,” said Mueller. “I thought the girls showed good heart clawing their way back into the game, now we know we are capable of competing with them and we look forward to our next meeting.”