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

B.C. Fire chiefs concerned over home-grown cannabis and fire hazards

More legislation is needed around electrical, fire codes

Former hostage negotiator to hold class in Victoria

Cathy MacDonald will teach communication skills on Sept. 26

Can you name all four of Victoria’s ‘sister cities’?

Partnerships with Asian, Russian countries have resulted in tourism, investment opportunities

Saanich churches seek to spread the blessings of pet ownership

St. Luke Cedar Hill Anglican Church will hold its annual Blessing of the Animals Service Sunday

Victoria UnWined helps grant wishes for children facing critical illness

UnWined Vancouver Island raises money for Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon

VIDEO: Tour de Rock rider says event provides badly needed support

Cancer survivor and volunteer firefighter Nicole Emery speaks about importance of fundraising tour

Federal use of A.I. in visa applications could breach human rights, report says

Impacts of automated decision-making involving immigration applications and how errors and assumptions could lead to “life-and-death ramifications”

POLL: How much should rents increase in 2019?

A task force has recommended the provincial government limit rent increases for… Continue reading

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

Most Read