ANDREW WALMSLEY – GAZETTE CONTRIBUTOR
The F.P. Walshe Meteors senior girls’ basketball team travelled to Three Hills to take part in the 2A girls’ basketball provincials.
They earned the right to join the eleven other top 2A girls’ basketball teams in the province on the basis of their second-place finish at the zone championship a week earlier.
The Meteors entered the provincials as the seventh ranked team in the tournament and improved on that ranking by winning the consolation championship.
Meteors 73 Lancers 53
In their first game the Meteors met up with the No. 10-ranked team, the La Crete Lancers. The Lancers had finished second in the northwest zone.
F.P. Walshe came out on fire and found themselves ahead 22–7 at the end of the first quarter.
La Crete never gave up though and battled their way back into the game. They trailed by 12 at the end of the third quarter before the Meteors came up with one last push to finish the game with a 73–53 victory.
The Meteors received balanced scoring from throughout the lineup. Sydney Plourde led all scorers with 17 points, Cassie Walmsley added 16 points and Allyssa Zoeteman chipped in 14.
Other scorers included Amanda MacDonald with eight points, Kate Boot with six, Kaylee Zoeteman with four, Amanda Hofer with three, and Naomi Burbank and Carlee Prete with two each.
Sabres 64 Meteors 40
The victory moved the Meteors into the A side of the tournament. They knew their next game would be tough as they were going up against the host school and provincially second-ranked team, the Prairie Christian Sabres.
The Sabres had been building to these championships for several years and their lineup included eight Grade 12 players.
In an almost complete reversal of their previous game the Meteors were completely overwhelmed for the first quarter. They trailed 23 – 8 when the horn blew to end the quarter.
On a positive note, the Walshe girls gained some confidence with better play toward the end of the quarter and played very evenly with the Sabres for the rest of the game. The end result was a 64–40 loss.
This ended up being the Meteors only loss of the weekend and the Sabres went on to win the provincial championship, so the girls were able to take some solace in that.
Points were hard to come by in this game except for Plourde, who led all scorers from both teams with 20 points. Walmsley chipped in with six points, while Ruby Kinsella scored four points. Kaitlin Quinlan and Amanda Hofer each added three points, while Kate Boot, Allyssa Zoeteman and Dakota Kambietz each scored two points.
Meteors 43 Nomads 41
After the loss the Meteors set their sights on winning the consolation plaque.
Their first opponents on this journey were the Peace River Nomads, who entered the tournament as the third seed.
In what turned out to be the most exciting game of the tournament, the Flyers got out to an early lead and then allowed the Nomads back into the game.
Peace River hit a foul shot late in the game to send the game to overtime.
The Meteors finally won the game when Dakota Kambietz gathered in a loose ball at the foul line, took a shot and scored her only basket of the game with 2.4 seconds left on the clock to make it 43-41.
When Kaitlin Quinlan stole the ensuing inbounds pass, the players, coaches and fans could finally take a deep breath and relax.
For the third game in a row Sydney Plourde led all scorers, pouring in 16 points. Other scorers were Amanda Hofer and Kaylee Zoeteman with six apiece.
Cassie Walmsley, Kaitlin Quinlan and Allyssa Zoeteman each chipped in three points, while Ruby Kinsella and Dakota Kambietz scored two. Naomi Burbank and Amanda MacDonald scored one point each.
Tenille Poettcker also played a strong game gathering several rebounds.
Meteors 63 Cougars 44
The consolation final was a spirited affair between the Meteors and the Calgary Christian Cougars.
The Cougars boasted one of the tournaments strongest players, six foot guard Jessica Rosebum, who has committed to playing at the University of Calgary next year.
The first half was a closely-fought back-and-forth affair. The Cougars led 16–13 at the end of the first quarter while the Meteors fought back to hold a 34–30 lead at the half.
The first half was a battle between each team’s offensive stars with Sydney Plourde scoring 11 of the Flyer’s 34 points and Rosebum scoring 13 of her team’s 30 points.
The second half was a totally different story however as the Meteors outscored Calgary Christian 29-14 en route to a convincing 63–44 win.
While the Cougars had no answer for Plourde’s offensive prowess, who devastated the Calgary team with 16 second half points, the Meteors looked to defensive specialist Cassie Walmsley to shut down Rosebum. Her tough man-to-man defense held Rosebum to a single free throw and an intercepted pass layup for only three points in the half.
Besides Plourde’s 27 points the Meteors received eight points from Allyssa Zoeteman, six each from Walmsley, Amanda Hofer and Amanda MacDonald, four from Dakota Kambietz and Carlee Prete and two points from Kaylee Zoeteman.
The victory was a fitting cap to a great season for the Meteors. The coaches would like to thank graduating seniors Kate Boot, Amanda MacDonald, Carlee Prete, Allyssa Zoeteman, and Kaylee Zoeteman for their admirable leadership and dedication throughout the season, while looking forward to working with an exciting crop of young players next season.