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Greater Victoria girls upping their hoops game
Hoops season may be finished in local schools, but spring and summer basketball is heating up for a trio of West Shore girls and their teammates.
Makenzie Messelink (Grade 8, Pacific Christian School), Gracie May (Grade 7, Gordon Head middle school) and Lauren Awalt (Grade 7 Dunsmuir middle school) were part of a Vancouver Island South team that captured the gold medal at the recent Basketball B.C. under-14 girls Jamboree.
Of the nine players who attended the tournament, six were invited back to Langley for a provincial team tryout camp last weekend.
Combined with the fact many of the team members will also try out this weekend for the Island Zone team competing in the 2014 B.C. Summer Games next month in Nanaimo, it's a busy time of year on the hardwood.
"For the most part they're starting to get exposed to their first taste of elite basketball, where selection is on more of a regional basis," said Craig Beaucamp, who coached the U-14s with wife, Tara and Darren Reisig and is in the off-season from coaching the University of Victoria Vikes men's team. The trio will also co-coach the Summer Games team. "This is probably their first opportunity to play on an elite team of sorts."
At the jamboree, the Island squad had a tight game in the final against Okanagan South. They led 26-21 at halftime, trailed for a time in the third quarter but poured it on late to win going away, 53-38.
Previous wins came against Fraser Valley East in the opener and Fraser Valley North in the semifinal.
The win marked the first time in some years, if not ever, that an Island team has won the tournament, said Tara Beaucamp
Other team members, with middle school listed, included:
Jasmine Lambert (Grade 8, Lansdowne), Sierra Reisig (Grade 8, Gordon Head), Maddie Manns (Grade 8, Gordon Head), Chloe Scaber (Grade 8, Bayside), Abby McMillan-Beaucamp (Grade 7, Glanford), Georgia Alexander (Grade 8, Central) and Natalie Froese (Grade 8, Monterey). Alternates were Kasha Ross (Grade 7, Glanford) and Maddie Gregoire (Grade 8, Bayside).