A district under-14 girl’s basketball team compiled mostly of North Battleford girls won a gold medal in Moose Jaw over the weekend of June 18 to 19.
The Rivers West team covers the local district and stretches as far as Lloydminster and Meadow Lake. The team is only able to practice a few times a month because of the distance between players, coach Brian Cottini said.
“We went to a tournament in Prince Albert and had to enter in the U15 category because that was the only one available,” Cottini said. “We definitely learned some lessons playing the older girls, but this weekend in Moose Jaw we were in our own age group.”
Cottini said the team is preparing for the Saskatchewan Summer Games which are being held in Estevan July 24 to 31. The tournament in Moose Jaw pitted them against teams they could see at the games.
“There were three other teams that will be at the games,” Cottini said. “Our first game we played a team from the Prince Albert area and we won by about 20 points. Our next game against the Estevan team, who are hosting the summer games, was a battle the whole way. We were down at halftime but we came back and ended up winning by five.”
Cottini said in the final they were matched up with the Saskatoon Slam who were undefeated up to that point. The Slam’s record clearly didn’t intimidate the Rivers West team, as they won by 20 points to come home with gold medals around their necks.
The win may instill some confidence in the Rivers West team heading into the Summer Games, and while winning gold at the final tournament of the year would be nice, Cottini wants to make sure his team stays level headed.
“Looking back at the history of the games, the Regina and Saskatoon teams like to reserve the gold and silver medals for themselves,” he said. “I think a realistic goal for us to be competing for the bronze medal, so we’ll see how that goes.”
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