GVC Varsity Girls win Consolation final

Greg Vandermeulen


The Garden Valley Collegiate Varsity Girls basketball team showed they could play with the province’s best, as they won the consolation final during a weekend tournament.
Coach Dan Forte said the tournament draw featured five AAAA schools who were ranked in the top 10 for most of last season, along with GVC, River East and Selkirk.  The AAAA schools included Glenlawn, Dakota, Garden City, Fort Richmond and Oak Park.
“These teams were well organized and used to playing against high level competition,” he said. “It was a good test to start the season to see if we can compete with top 10 calibre teams.”
The GVC girls showed they were up for that level of competition.
After being edged out 65-60 by Garden City, they bounced back and beat River East in the consolation semifinal 57-55. In the final another intense game saw them edge out Fort Richmond in overtime, 61-56.
Forte said they hit 12 threes, 8 threes and 10 threes in these games respectively. “It’s essential to what we do to try and win games,” he explained. “We want between 10-15 threes made per game.”
The final game was a testament to the mental and physical strength of the GVC squad. Forte said their team defence, offensive spacing and movement was strong. “The game went back and forth with GVC leading sometimes and FRC leading at other times,” he said. “The girls didn’t let Fort Richmond’s runs get inside their heads and executed down the stretch in OT, outscoring FRC 10-5 to finish the game.”
Flora Russell and Talia Peters made two critical three pointers, and Flora set up Abigail Neufeld for a layup late in overtime.
“Neufeld  made another layup at some point in OT as well,” Forte said. “There were many important rebounds, offensive decisions and defensive plays by everyone else.”
After struggling in the past two games, Forte said Talia Peters played up to her usual offensive prowess, scoring 35 points including every single GVC point in the first quarter. She added five rebounds, four assists and five steals.
Laney Harder continued her excellent pay contributing 11 points (3/6 from three), eight rebounds, four assists and six blocks. Flora Russell plays a solid game on both ends with 11 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Forte said Kezra Gerbrandt and Abigail Neufeld also played crucial post defence and had 10 rebounds and nine rebounds respectively.
“Grade 9 Carly Harder played the entire game and did a lot of the little things that help teams win close games like this one: great spacing and ball movement on offence, was in good position on defence on most possessions fought for rebounds all the time and had seven steals,” he said.
Laney Harder was named tournament all-star for her strong play all weekend. Forte said her standout performance came in the first game against Garden City where she put in 24 points on 10/16 shooting (4/7 from three-point range), and grabbed 19 rebounds.