Alysha Walton brings the ball up the floor to set up the offence

Bulldogs girls hoping to build on momentum

Belmont girls basketball team enters Islands on high note

After defeating Nanaimo’s Dover Bay Dolphins in a neutral-site, win-and-you’re-in game in Duncan Tuesday night, the Belmont Bulldogs senior girls basketball team are off to Port Alberni today (Feb. 19) for the Island AAA championships.

The West Shore girls came out hard early in the first quarter against the Dolphins, led by Isla Swanwick, who scored eight points on her first three shots of the game – two three-pointers and a deuce. But the Bulldogs were taking fouls on defence and giving up free throws that allowed their opponents to keep the game close with singles.

Belmont coaches soon got a feel for where how their opponent could be exploited, however, and the ’Dogs turned it on late in the first quarter and never looked back, taking the game by a final score of 72-54.

“I really think (dominating like we did) will only add to the girls’ confidence,” Belmont head coach Brad Lidstone said. “Once we had a healthy lead, we were able to rest our starters and other players got quality minutes and stepped up. We really wanted to keep pushing with our bench players so that they also gained that important confidence going into Islands.”

The boost gained from the strong victory will be needed, as the West Shore open the Islands today at 5:45 p.m. against league champion Oak Bay Breakers, currently ranked No. 4 in the province among AAA teams.

Lidstone said making it to the Island championships was one of the team’s main goals for the season, set out way back in November.

“We are in tough against Oak Bay,” he said. “But we are confident in our play and know that the top two get an automatic berth to provincials and third place gets to play a challenge game to get in.”

Lidstone feels they have the talent, both on and beside the court, to challenge for a title.

“Our team versatility really allows for the opportunity to match up well against any type of team,” he said. “We (as coaches) create a plan and we let the girls work within that framework,” adding that making in-game changes to exploit perceived weaknesses in the opposition, as they did Tuesday night in Duncan, makes them a real threat.

It also helps that they have talent like Swanwick (25 points in the win over Dover Bay), a pair of tall, talented players who can play under the basket in Jess Thomsen (21 points, 19 rebounds) and Claire Church, and someone like Alysha Walton running the offence from the point guard position, bringing the ball up the floor and making that crucial first pass into the zone.

The Island championships wrap up Saturday in Port Alberni and the provincial championships go March 4 to 7 at the Langley Events Centre.

Just Posted

Victoria joins worldwide anti-gun protest March for Our Lives

On March 24, protesters gathered at the Legislative Assembly of BC

Grizzlies’ season ends in overtime loss

Victoria wasn’t able to pull off another comeback

Langford council news in brief

Luxton Road closure, Sooke Road development, a new bridge deck and more lighting in the works

Local golfer enjoys the new development program at Bear Mountain

Golf Canada’s centralized development program a success so far

Sooke Philharmonic concerts feature coronation music

Concert dates set for Sooke and Langford in April

Vancouver Island’s Best Videos of the Week

A look at some of the best video stories from the past week ending March 23, 2018

Canadian cities hold March for our Lives events in wake of Florida shooting

Hundreds of people support the massive March for Our Lives event in Washington, D.C.

Health officials called after acid spill near B.C.-Alberta border leaks into creek

Tanker truck crashed south of Dawson Creek, spilling 17,000 litres of hydrochloric acid

Embattled band Hedley plays last show in B.C. before hiatus

About 3,000 tickets had sold for final performance at Kelowna’s Prospera Place

Public warned not to eat herring eggs harvested from French Creek to Qualicum Bay

Island Health reports vibrio cholerae infection linked to eating herring eggs

Trudeau to exonerate B.C. First Nations chiefs hanged in 1860s

Prime Minister to absolve Tsilhqot’in chiefs in relation to deaths of 14 construction workers

Canucks sing the Blues as they fall to St. Louis 4-1

Berglund nets two, including the game-winner, to lift St. Louis over Vancouver

Calving season brings hope for Cariboo ranchers

Still a lot of work ahead to recover from the wildfires

Letter: Remember to acknowledge world TB Day on March 24

Saturday, March 24 is World Tuberculosis (TB) Day. This is important as… Continue reading

Most Read