FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Junior Girls basketball won 1st place in their regional competition this weekend to go on to zones in Prince George February 17-19.

In the first game, the Grizzlies went up against Chetwynd. The game started off slow with just a 9-8 lead at the end of the first quarter, but quickly picked up as the team got more comfortable on the court.

NPSS won 45-24 to move on to the first place game against Dr. Kearney Middle School. In the final game, the Grizzlies showed up on defense to shut down Kearney’s shooters, and pulled off a 40-22 win.

The whole team stepped up to play this weekend, and everyone contributed to the wins. MVP went to Summer Dube, Best Defensive Player went to Sadia Horel, and Most Sportsmanlike went to Ariel Hesketh.

The Seniors Basketball team faced the most challenging competition so far this year. Starting with the Senior Girls basketball team, who travelled to Prince George BC to compete against College Heights Secondary.

With an optimistic mindset heading into playing against the 5th ranked AAA school, the girls struggled to keep up with the play. Game 1 the Grizzlies lost by 40 points to CHSS where they struggled to maintain their composure and focus.

Game 2 of the weekend, the Grizzlies were more mentally prepared and started off the first quarter strong keeping the score close but struggled to maintain that until the end. Although better basketball than Friday, it was not enough.

From a coaching perspective, it was a learning weekend, if the team is going to travel to provincials they will consistently face teams like that every game.

With a new focus for practice, the team hopes to win against Prince George Secondary in their upcoming Zone championships to attend provincials. The player of the weekend went to Paige McPherson who demonstrated growth in a positive mindset and confidence as a player.

The Senior Boys travelled to play the Grande Prairie Composite High School on Saturday morning.

The Grizzlies started out strong keeping the game close for the first half of the first quarter before the Grizzlies saw their first press in over two years.

The Grande Prairie press started to create turnovers and lead to easy transition buckets which led to the team from North Peace down by almost thirty at the half.

The second half saw the Grizzlies make adjustments to break the press but it was too little too late. Ultimately the Grizzlies came out on the wrong end of a lopsided loss to move to 3-1 on the season.

One of the few bright spots was the play of Grade 11 big men Chaste Cunningham and Max Bannack who took a large step forward in developing their games this weekend. The Grizzlies move on from Grande Prairie to play the Prince George Secondary School in a three game series for the zone championship next weekend.