The U16 girls entered the Chris Paulin AA/A tournament with unknown intentions. A nine player team, with lots of heart and not much practice time took the floor together for the first time on the Friday night against Gloucester Wolverines. They came out playing great as a team, taking the opener 52-20.
Game 2 Saturday morning was against Naismith. The game was closer due to some great defense by Naismith. The final score was 38-24. Game 3 on Saturday afternoon was with another undefeated team in the Russell Rockets. The Rockets are a tall, experienced team and their experience came through. The Blazers led the entire game until the last 3 minutes when the Rockets hit a couple of long threes and took the lead to stay 39-35.
Sunday in the semi finals, the Blazers had to play the #1 seed from the other pool, Nepean U16. This game looked like it was going to be a runaway win for the Blazers but Nepean’s shooters and size got them back in the game, tying it at 40. But the free throw practice paid off as Sydney Jardine hit 5/6 and Payton Malone the final 2 to clinch the win, 45-40 and a trip to the gold medal game.
In the Gold medal game, the Blazers had a rematch with the Russell Rockets and the game again was just as close as the first. After a back and forth first half, the Blazers took a 3 point lead with 5 seconds left in the game. A Rocket found an opening and raced down the floor hitting a 3 pointer at the buzzer to tie the game and send to overtime. In overtime, the Blazers again found themselves ahead with 20 seconds to go on a great 3 point play by Courtney Ballantyne on an assist from Avery Preston. But the Rockets drew a foul and hit 1 of 2 FT’s to tie the game, sending it to a second overtime.
In the final frame, the Rockets size and free throw shooting ended up giving them a 4 point win and the Gold Medal. Overall, the Blazers performed great with everyone hitting the score sheet in the tournament.
Kaylee Moorhouse led the team with 63 points in the tournament, Sydney Jardine had 50, Payton Malone had 30, and Courtney Ballantyne had 23.