The Alberni Armada senior girls basketball team beat the Kwalikum Kondors 75-51 to win their second consecutive girls division title in the final Totem game ever to be played in the ADSS gym.
Guard Danielle Lessard lead Armada scorers with 15 points and earned tournament most valuable player honours.
Her teammates Leah Hudson and Jami Oliver were named to the tournament all star team.
Hudson scored the first two points in the final Totem game while her teammate Chelsea McIntosh scored the final point.
Kwalikum guard Miranda Cuthbertson poured in 32 points in the game against the Armada and was named to the all star team.
“Our goal from the outset was to win another Totem championship and the girls came through,” head coach Greg Freethy said. “We can’t get complacent now though, we’ve got to hold our edge.”
The Armada’s march to the title included wins of St. Thomas Aquinas and Ballenas before facing the Kondors on Saturday.
Playing before a near-capacity crowd at the ADSS gym, Alberni eased off on the throttle having already beaten Kwalikum in the pre-season and doing so was nearly costly.
The Armada never relinquished the lead but they also had had no answer for Cuthbertson, who torched them for 32 points. “We changed defenses on her but she was tough and had a great game,” Freethy said.
The Kondors pulled within striking distance of the Armada in the third when offensive cog Tara Freeman fouled out “That was the turning point in the game,” Freethy said. “It might have been a different game if she stayed in.”
The Armada’s Jami Oliver, Leah Hudson scored 19 and 13 points respectively. “It’s the first time this season that those two and Danielle all had a great game together,” Freethy said.
But Darion Alaire was lost the a knee injury for the rest of the game.
The Armada post game gave the Kondors trouble as well. “We’re a big team – we’ve got four players over six feet tall,” Freethy said. “Teams try to double team Jami and she still gets 20 points.”
The Armada was able to employ new defenses, full court pressures and run more fast breaks, all of which they worked on in practice, Freethy said.
At 14 players the Armada also had a large bench, which was deep enough for Freethy to dip into when he needed.
Lessard’s MVP nod was well deserved and a sign of things to come. “She can score, but she does a better job now of making people around her better,” Freethy said. “She’s a real weapon for us and she hasn’t even peaked yet.”
Next up for the Armada is a league game on Tuesday against the young but strong Dover Bay Dolphins and then an eight team tournament at Vancouver’s Britannia Secondary School this weekend.