The Alberni District Secondary School Armada senior girls basketball team has made it to the big show and now it’s time to dance.
The team is competing as the first seed from the North Island in the eight-team Island Basketball Championships this weekend in Victoria.
The teams placed seventh last year but have their sights set higher this year. “Our goal is to place in the top three,” head coach Greg Freethy said.
Victoria’s Oak Bay and Claremont are strong and will likely duel for first and second place.
But the Armada have had success against the rest of the field, which includes Dover Bay, GP Vanier, Stelly’s and Mount Doug.
The Armada open Thursday against Spectrum who they already beat this season. “I really feel like we have a strong shot at the third spot,” Freethy said.
The team is running on all cylinders. Forwards Jami Oliver and Nicole Irg are back from injury.
The team brings a surplus of height to the table, something other teams don’t have. “We have five players over six feet tall who can play,” Freethy said. “I like our chances with our post game.”
Everyone on the 11-player roster is capable of contributing so Freethy says he feels confident rotating his bench to keep players fresh.
The Armada are 22-8 on the season and have won four tournaments. The losses came when one of Oliver, Leah Hudson or Danielle Lessard were out of the lineup. “We need all three of them on their game at the same time,” Freethy said.
Winning third place will take patience, spacing, deft rebounding and sticking to the game plan.
“We need a full game from everyone with no lapses or letting a team who is down back in the game,” Freethy said.
“If we do that then I like our chances.”
FOUL SHOTS… the junior girls are competing at their Island Championships at Mark Isfeld in Courtenay this weekend.
The ADSS senior boys meanwhile are competing in their North Island Championships in Nanaimo.