The 2019 ADSS Armada senior girls’ basketball team, coached by Ryan Broekhuizen, left, and Dennis Bill. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

TOTEM 65: ADSS girls’ team resets after historic year

Last year’s Friday night game was a thing of high school hoops legend

Last year, the Alberni District Secondary School (ADSS) Armada girls played arguably the most exciting game in Totem tournament history. While they don’t expect to repeat their double overtime performance against Windsor on the basketball court, they hope to put in a solid showing when Totem 65 hits the courts Jan. 9.

Last year’s Friday night game was a thing of high school hoops legend: the Armada tied the game with nine seconds on the clock in the fourth quarter to send it to overtime. It took two overtime periods before Windsor edged the Armada 57–54.

READ: Totem 64: ADSS Armada drop barnburner to Windsor in double overtime

No one cared that the game was more than an hour late finishing.

“I don’t know if that will ever be beat,” Armada girls’ head coach Ryan Broekhuizen said of the record-setting game.

“It was a memorable Totem for me, that’s for sure,” he said.

“It was definitely the memory of the season for us. All the returning players, that’s what we talk about in preparing for Totem.”

Windsor ended up in second place behind Ballenas, and the Armada took third place in 2019.

The team has some new faces this year, and some strong players graduated last June, so Broekhuizen doesn’t know where they will end up in Totem 65, Jan. 9–11.

“I’ve got a lot of returning players, Grade 12s that didn’t get tonnes of playing time last year, so we’re building our experience up right now,” he said.

“We’re definitely a hard-working team; we’re not the highest-skilled team, but we put up the effort, and that’s what people come to see, is the kids trying hard.”

The Armada face Kwalikum in their opening game of Totem, Thursday, Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. at ADSS. The two teams faced each other in December in an ice-breaker tournament, with ADSS on the winning side. Broekhuizen said it should be a good game for his squad, and that they are ready for a re-match.

“I think we will have some success against them,” he said.

The second game may be a little tougher, he admitted. They will face either Highland from Comox or St. Patrick, and have been in tough with them in the past.

“We’re right there; a couple of wins and that’s a trip to the finals,” he said. “You just want to get that win Thursday night and stay on the winner’s side of the brackets.”

Team captain Abbie Dods has been putting up the numbers for the Armada girls this season, and Broekhuizen expects her to be a solid scoring player during Totem. “Captain Abbie Dods is really controlling the play and working hard.”

Dods played in Totem 64 last year, and has been playing basketball since Grade 8. She says her favourite Totem memory—this will be her fifth as either a spectator or player—was the double overtime game against Windsor. Except for the loss.

Dods said the team will be in tough getting back into the groove following Christmas break. “It’s hard, because not a lot of people can attend practices. If we work really hard we can accomplish good things,” she said.

The Armada girls’ squad is a mix of Grade 11 and Grade 12 players this year, both Dods and Broekhuizen said.

“We don’t have a lot of posts in Grade 12, most of our Grade 12s are guards and small,” Broekhuizen noted. “A couple of posts that came up from Grade 11, like Rebecca Bingham, have been playing well and being physical for us, which is what we need.”

Memphis Dick, who played a prominent role in the double overtime loss to Windsor at Totem 64, spent most of last season dealing with a knee injury. She started the 2019-20 season strong, but tweaked her knee at the ice-breaker tournament and was on the injured list leading up to the Christmas holiday.

“We’re trying to keep her rested until Totem and hopefully she’ll be ready for that,” Broekhuizen said.

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The ADSS girls’ basketball team is looking forward to facing Wellington at Totem 65 after having a good pre-holiday match with them in December. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Memphis Dick (No. 4) is still dealing with an injury she sustained in 2018 but will still be a force to contend with on the court in Totem 65, coach Ryan Broekhuizen said. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Ryan Broekhuizen is back as head coach of the 2019 ADSS Armada girls’ basketball team. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

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