UPDATE: Alberni Armada senior girls advance to AAA Island hoops championships

Their goal was to make the AAA Island basketball championships and the Armada senior girls' made it.

The Armada senior girls’ basketball team is going to the AAA Island basketball championships.

The team placed third in the AAA North Island championships in Nanaimo with a 69-65 win over GP Vanier on Saturday to qualify.

Forward Jamie Oliver scored 25 points in the effort and was named a tournament all star.

Guard Leah Hudson was second leading scorer with 14 points in the effort.

“Our goal all year was to make the Islands and we have,” head coach Greg Freethy said.

“The girls’ backs were against the wall and they delivered.”

The team earlier beat Cowichan 40-37 to vault into the third-fourth place game.

In the game against Vanier, the Towees neutralized the Armada’s strengths, and were up 57-50 in the third quarter.

“They denied the ball inside and had Jamie (Oliver) locked up pretty good,” Freethy said.

The team’s adjusted its defensive scheme, employed a full-court press and cycled in his deep bench to counter.

Vanier turned the ball over several times, their bench wasn’t as deep and petered out, and they were held to just eight points.

Vanier’s main post player who’d checked Oliver into submission fouled out, freeing Oliver up to score 25 points.

Depth was the biggest factor in the win, Freethy said.

“We always had fresh legs by cycling in 10 players throughout the whole game and Vanier couldn’t,” he said.

Next up for the Armada are the AAA Island championships, which are being hosted in Port Alberni Feb. 24-26.

The Island’s top four teams each from the north and south are competing.

The Armada, Dover Bay, Ballenas and Vanier are competing for the north.

Oak Bay, Claremont, Spectrum and either Stelly’s or Mount Doug are competing for the south.

The Armada opens against either Oak Bay, Claremont of Spectrum on Thursday.

“Claremont and Oak Bay are ranked in top 10 in B.C. and play a very high caliber of ball,” Freethy said.

“It’s going to be a good test for us.”

reporter@albernivalleynews.com