This pre-Christmas break game was not just a practice with uniforms. The team dominated all aspects of the contest. Tom Best photo

This pre-Christmas break game was not just a practice with uniforms. The team dominated all aspects of the contest. Tom Best photo

Gryphons dominate on path to provincials

Maybe some of the minds were on the upcoming school break but anyone at the recent game between the Smithers Secondary Gryphons senior girls basketball squad and the Caledonia Kermodes could easily see why coach Chris van der Mark is seeking out some more challenging competitions with the tournaments he has his charges headed for.

Maybe some of the minds were on the upcoming school break but anyone at the recent game between the Smithers Secondary Gryphons senior girls basketball squad and the Caledonia Kermodes could easily see why coach Chris van der Mark is seeking out some more challenging competitions with the tournaments he has his charges headed for.

Simple. Gryphons 80, Kermodes 34. And that was without all of the starters he could send out.

The first half of the game was perhaps a bit rough but the locals were definitely still in charge. Following the half however, it was all Smithers as they dominated every aspect of the game.

Shots were dropping in from all over the court, layups were up and in, shots were being blocked and one-on-ones were being won.

Of course coach van der Mark was not 100 per cent satisfied, but what coach on a mission ever is satisfied completely. Perfection is not a simple task.

After a couple of challenging tournaments, the team has had a good taste of what they should expect to meet as they go on to the provincial level tournament from regional play. Caledonia is one of the teams they will have to control if they are to progress beyond the zone level.

That progression appears to be a good bet but simply attending the provincial championships is not the goal. Playing there and coming out with a high ranking is more along the lines of what the coach has in mind for the team.

Smithers does not have the luxury of a large number of senior class players. They also do not have the indulgence of an off-season league which many of the players in larger communities can access in order to brush up their skills.

That said, local athletes have a history of doing very well beyond the regional level, possibly due to their well-rounded sport skills from participation in a variety of sports as they develop through their youth and teen years.

sports@interior-news.com

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