Sports

Students of the Game blog: Bragging rights on the line at city basketball tourney

MEI
MEI's Tessa Ratzlaff is an outstanding basketball and volleyball player, and the Grade 12 athlete has landed a hoops scholarship for next season from Trinity Western University.
— image credit: Dan Kinvig

The Abbotsford News's high school sports blog, Students of the Game, features local athletes sharing their experiences and unique perspectives. Today, MEI senior Tessa Ratzlaff discusses the appeal and importance of the Abbotsford Police City Basketball Tournament.

The desire to be first in Abbotsford grows as we approach the annual Abbotsford Police City Basketball Tournament.

The city tournament, which runs Dec. 11-14, is always competitive, intense, and is one of my favorite tournaments.

Finishing first in Abbotsford is such a great accomplishment. Who wouldn’t want to be the top basketball team in the city? I know for my team and I, we expect to compete in the final this year. My attitude may come across as too confident, but when it comes down to this tournament, you have to want that first place.

In my Grade 10 year my team came first at the junior level, and last year we finished third in the senior division. However, I don’t think we were pleased with last year’s placement, and the yearning to be No. 1 in Abbotsford has grown even more over the past year.

I asked my coach, Rick Thiessen, what the city tournament meant to him. He said, “It's an opportunity to see which team is tops in the city – bragging rights if you will. But coming near the beginning of the season, it’s also a chance to see where we stand now compared to how we end the season. So it’s a way to measure improvement."

Hearing this reminded me how much we'll improve as a team, from this tournament to the end of the season.

The other aspect of the city tournament is seeing the big rivals play against each other. The MEI and Mouat senior girls have always been big rivals.

After playing on the Junior Cascades U17 team this past spring and summer, I had the opportunity to get to know many of the Mouat girls and coaches. The positives of this is that Mouat runs many of the same plays that we ran during the summer season. However, their coaches and players know how we play, and they know how to simply disrupt certain players during a game. Whether that is getting under someone’s skin, or just double-teaming a player, they know a couple of our competitive personalities quite well. This can go both ways though, and a game between the two teams can get quite intense.

I am definitely looking forward to this tournament, and I truly believe my team can finish first in Abbotsford. It will take a lot of effort and energy, but if we compete and battle hard as a team, it’s most definitely possible.

Previous Students of the Game blog entries

Callum Pilgrim: Multi-sport star is always on the run

Tanner Friesen: Coming to terms with a season-ending defeat

Tessa Ratzlaff: If you've learned from a loss, you have not lost

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