Both Neelin Spartans varsity basketball teams will play for provincial bronze medals today, while the Virden Golden Bears varsity girls are going for gold.
Logan Biccum scored 17 points and Heidi Smith added 16 for the Golden Bears as they beat the Spartans 72-54 in the provincial AAA high school basketball semifinals Friday in Swan River. The game was close with Virden holding a four-point lead late in the fourth quarter before pulling away.
Natalie Vachon and Jade Smith both added 11 points for the Golden Bears, who will take on Thompson’s R.D. Parker Trojans in the final. The Trojans edged the Lorette Scorpions 59-58 in the other semifinal.
Paige Thomson replied with 18 points and Kristine Ward added 17 for the Spartans, who face the Scorpions for bronze.
Meanwhile, in the AAA boys’ event, Neelin fell 67-40 to the top-seeded Westgate Wings in the semifinals. The Wings watched Quinton Hunter closely and kept him in check, leaving Brandon Lalonde to pace Neelin with 14 points, while Andrew Paul had nine.
The Spartans will take on the St. James Jimmies for bronze today. The Jimmies fell 79-72 to the St. John’s Ravenscourt Eagles in the other semifinal.
Although Don Thomson, who coaches both Neelin squads, knows his players would have liked to be playing for gold today, he believes they will be motivated for today’s contests.
"At the end of the day, (Friday) was an opportunity to compete for a gold medal and as much as you want to be in that game, that’s the disappointing part," he said.
"Waking up (today) we know we have another chance. The kids may not be excited about it right now, but when they wake up (this) morning they’ll be excited."
» Brandon Sun
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 22, 2014