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Bert Church Chargers junior girls basketball team ready for playoffs

By: Lucas Punkari

  |  Posted: Thursday, Feb 27, 2014 10:53 am

Olivia DePasquale of the Bert Church Chargers junior girls basketball team took a shot at the net while being defended against by assistant coach Sabrina Shaw in a practice session on Feb. 24.
Olivia DePasquale of the Bert Church Chargers junior girls basketball team took a shot at the net while being defended against by assistant coach Sabrina Shaw in a practice session on Feb. 24.
Lucas Punkari/Rocky View Publishing

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As a result of winning the Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) junior girls basketball East Division title, the Bert Church Chargers has already assured itself a spot in the league’s semi-finals on March 7.

However, according to Grade 9 Bert Church student Jaedyn Couture, the team is still focused on getting even better in its quest for the school’s second straight junior girls basketball league title.

“We are really focusing on what we do best, which is when we play as a team and not as individuals,” Couture said.

“When we try our hardest out on the court, that is when we are successful, and we just need to keep doing that.”

That approach has made the Chargers the team to beat once again this season in the RVSA, as it had a 6-0 record heading into the regular season finale on Feb. 26 when it played host to the Cochrane Cobras.

“One of the things that makes this team stand out is that the girls are all pretty solid with the fundamentals of the game, and especially with their understanding of what they need on offence, defence, and in the transition game,” Chargers Head Coach Andy Kirk said.

“We have been playing well in all of the aspects of the game, but we can still get better,” he added.

“The development of the girls’ skills is really the most important thing at this level.”

According to Grade 10 student Paige Goertzen, the bond that the 12-player squad shares has also made them a tough team to match up against.

“We are not being individuals out there, and that is a huge key for us,” she said.

“We focus on our game plan all of the time, and we are always communicating.”

“That’s really important when it comes to how we play on defence,” Goertzen explained.

“We are always talking out on the floor and letting our teammates know what player we are covering, and that is always good to know who is doing what so you aren’t running around the whole time.”

The team has also benefited from the tournaments players have competed in, as they have taken on schools from Calgary and Edmonton throughout the year.

“Whether it was in our own tournament in January or when we went to Edmonton earlier this month, the tournaments are always a learning experience for us where we have to push ourselves to be better,” Couture said.

“A lot of the schools that we play from Calgary or Edmonton have a lot more students to pick their teams from than we do here, and they have a lot of players who have played the game longer than we have,” Goertzen said.

“We work hard to try and match-up with them, and I think we have done well at that.”

If the Chargers is successful in its semi-final game on March 7 against either the George McDougall Mustangs or the Springbank Phoenix, it will advance to the league championship game at Springbank Community High School on March 8.

However, in order to do that, Kirk says that the girls need to keep doing what they have been doing since the season got underway.

“If we continue to focus on what we do well, we will have a chance to be successful,” Kirk said.

“But if we don’t do that, we will run into trouble and anything can happen in junior basketball.”


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