With basketball season almost done in most circuits, Stettler’s Junior Varsity (JV) girls had an outstanding season.
In the March 3-4 weekend, the Stettler Wildcats JV girls’ team played in a league tournament and went in ranked first.
They played Wetaskiwin on Friday, March 3 and won 75-26.
“Everyone scored as is typical for us this year, but Meghan Matchett was the high scorer with 18 and Tori Brower had 15,” said Coach Charisse McDonald, who has been quite pleased with her team’s performance. “Saturday provided some challenges for us to overcome.”
Stettler played Notre Dame in the semi-final and it was a close game throughout.
“We haven’t been in a nail-biter this year so this game really tested us, the crowd was larger than we are used to and very rowdy and it was hard for our team to focus and the nerves were obvious,” McDonald said.
This year Stettler has relied on the strength of their ball handlers, the press, their fast break and unselfish play, which were all tested by a speedy, pressing Notre Dame squad.
“Two of our guards and court leaders, Tori Brower and Brooklyn Perry, were in foul trouble all weekend and played much less than we needed and they would have wanted,” McDonald added. “With them on the bench in both the Saturday games, Emily Brown and Kassy Diegel, our other two guards, and the rest of team, really stepped up.”
Stettler rattled Notre Dame by a sudden burst of offence and we kept the pressure on, with the defence creating turnovers.
“We got up by 10 in the middle of the fourth quarter and held on for a 62-55 win,” McDonald said. “It wasn’t our best played game, but it was a great game to play in; the girls showed real heart and grit turning a 12-point deficit into a 10-point lead.” Despite sitting much of the game, the high scorer was Tori Brower with 22 and Emily Brown with 15.
In the final, Stettler played Hunting Hills in the final, a game which was also close to the end.
The opponents took an early 14-4 lead, hustling Stettler to every ball and blocking most shots they took.
“It took us a quarter to let the nerves settle; we got to even midway through the second quarter and then played them basket for basket until the middle of the fourth quarter,” McDonald added. “Brooklyn and Tori were able to play the whole quarter with four fouls each and really helped to establish a lead, while Meghan and Brenda Antle made some key shots in the fourth and Emily continued her brilliant day of steals and creating turnovers.”
Stettler’s consistent foul shooting which had abandoned them against Notre Dame made a sudden reappearance which was timely.
“We won 65-48 with us making the last four baskets of the game,” McDonald said. “It has been a remarkable year.”
High scorers were Brown with 19 and Brower with 14.