It took 30 years, but the Virden Golden Bears have finally won their second provincial high school varsity girls’ basketball championship.
Tournament MVP Heidi Smith had 22 points for the Golden Bears as they beat the R.D. Parker Trojans 64-60 for the AAA provincial banner in Swan River on Saturday. It’s the school’s first AAA basketball banner, adding to the AA title they won in 1984.
The Golden Bears controlled most of the game, leading by as many as 19 points in the third quarter, before letting the Trojans battle back. However, Virden hung on for the win and head coach Steve Densmore was extremely proud of his players.
“It was a really good team effort on our part, and I think that our biggest success was our balance on offence,” he said.
“There was no way they could shut one person down. They had to shut down all five of our starters. I think that was the key to our success on the weekend.”
Tournament all-star Logan Biccum added 17 points for Virden in the final, while Jade Smith had 11 and Natalie Vachon netted nine.
Meanwhile, the Neelin Spartans varsity girls took home a bronze medal with a 58-47 win over the Lorette Scorpions. Kristine Ward led Neelin with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while tournament all-star Paige Thomson added 15 points and 14 boards. Courtney Matienzo chipped in with 13 points.
Neelin’s boys didn’t make out as well. Andrew Paul posted 20 points and 10 rebounds in their bronze medal game, but the Spartans lost 72-50 to the St. James Jimmies. Neelin’s Quinton Hunter was named a tournament all-star and received the players’ choice award.
The Hamiota Huskies won their third straight provincial title with a 60-58 victory over the Glenboro Panthers on Saturday in Sprague. Shayna Mathison of the Huskies was named MVP, while teammate Ashley Jay was named to the all-star team along with Glenboro’s Shay Rutherford. Paige Small of the Treherne Tigers, who won the consolation final 56-53 over the Rosenort Hawks, was also an all-star and received the players’ choice award.
The Glenboro Panthers edged the Pinawa Panthers 66-64 on Saturday in Somerset to claim a provincial banner of their own. Matt Klassen, Riley Nicholson and Mitch Jeffries of Glenboro were all named all-stars.
Meanwhile, the host Prairie Mountain Predators won the consolation final 77-70 over the Gilbert Plains Trojans.
The Souris Sabres came up short in their provincial final in Teulon as they fell 69-39 to the host Saints on Saturday. Jessie Robbins of Souris was named to the all-star team, while Courtney Fines of the Elton Sabres received the players’ choice award. Elton lost the consolation final 69-45 to the Neepawa Tigers. Meanwhile, the Boissevain Broncos fell 65-44 to the Steinbach Christian Flames in the bronze-medal game.
The Boissevain Broncos also fell in the provincial final in Warren on Saturday, dropping an 83-72 decision to the Carman Cougars. Alex Klassen and Tiu Sosefu of Boissevain were named all-stars.
» Brandon Sun
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 24, 2014