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Bert Church Chargers junior girls team dominating competition

By: Lucas Punkari

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 12:43 pm

Bert Church Charger junior girls basketball player Paige Goertzen powered past Sarah Moore of the Springbank Phoenix on her way to the basket during a game on Jan. 8.
Bert Church Charger junior girls basketball player Paige Goertzen powered past Sarah Moore of the Springbank Phoenix on her way to the basket during a game on Jan. 8.
Lucas Punkari/Rocky View Publishing

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It’s early in the Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) junior girls basketball season, but the Bert Church Chargers are becoming the team to beat.

The Chargers, with a perfect 4-0 record have dominated their opponents since the season got underway a month ago and are now the lone unbeaten team in the six-team loop.

“Our team is playing really well right now,” Chargers Grade 10 shooting guard Olivia DePasquale said. “We are finding the girls that are open on the court pretty easily, and we have some pretty good height on our team this year, which is a big help.”

“We have a lot of different strengths this season,” Grade 10 point guard Kelsey Nielsen added. “Our dribbling skills allow us to bring the ball up the floor, our shooting has been pretty good, and we have been doing a really good job in passing the ball around.”

While all four of the Chargers league wins have been fairly one-sided, the most impressive performance by the team occurred in Springbank on Jan. 8, when it easily dispatched the previously undefeated Springbank Phoenix by a score of 57-27.

“That was one of the most aggressive games that we have played this season, which was a good thing for us as we really got a chance to work on our physical game,” Chargers Head Coach Andy Kirk said. “We had a bit of a physical game like that earlier this season when we were in a tournament in Edmonton, but I think the girls did a really good job in passing the ball around against Springbank.”

“Our team this year actually has more Grade 9 players (seven) than Grade 10 players (five), but they are all capable of making an impact for us,” he added. “We have a deep roster with everyone having a pretty solid skill set, and we have a deep intensity level that the girls bring on a regular basis.”

The meeting with the Phoenix in Springbank was decided in the first quarter, as the Chargers dominated from the opening tip-off and held a massive 22-4 lead after the opening 10 minutes.

“I think a lot of our success early on came from playing good defence and being tough on the ball,” Nielsen said. “We stayed strong out there when things got rough underneath the basket, and that was good for us.”

The Chargers will face the Chestermere Lady Lakers at the Bert Church High School gym on Jan. 16 at 6 p.m. Then the Chargers will be gearing up for the Bert Church Invitational Junior Basketball Tournament, which will be taking place from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2.

“We’re all really excited about it,” DePasquale said.

“Playing in our home tournament is always something we are looking forward to, especially since our intensity levels will be up even more with our friends and family watching us play.”


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