It may take a while for Royal Bay secondary’s sports teams to gain some traction. But one community coach is already imagining the future of the new school’s junior girls basketball program.
Dave Awalt recently coached the Dunsmuir Grade 8 girls to the city league title, one night before the school’s Grade 7 girls captured the city crown in their division.
With middle school reconfiguration set to happen in the Sooke School District next year, the older players will likely move en masse to Royal Bay, while the following year the current Grade 7s will move up.
“My players will probably be the core of the junior girls team next season, but two years from now, Royal Bay’s junior girls should be a quality team,” Awalt said.
Of the 19 players between the two Dunsmuir teams, 13 hone their skills by playing in the Victoria & District Amateur Basketball Association night league program on one of five Wescom Warriors teams.
“Based on Dunsmuir’s success this year, the future of girls basketball in the Sooke School District is very bright,” Awalt said.
The Grade 8s, who beat Glanford 46-29 in the championship game last week, will reconvene in February in preparation for the invitational Grade 8 provincial tournament in Pitt Meadows, Awalt said.
The win gave the team a 7-1 overall record this year and avenged a 61-58 overtime loss to Glanford in the regular season.
Lauren Awalt led the winners in the final with 22 points, while Hannah Cormode had 21.
Abby McMillan-Beaucamp topped Glanford with 17 points and Kasha Ross had 10.
Dave Awalt said the game was close through the first half, but Dunsmuir’s team defence and a fast break attack that forced Glanford into foul trouble were the difference in the second half.
Other members of the Dunsmuir 8s are Olivia Cawsey, Nayeon Hyun, Bella Vedova, Hayley Pettigrew, Rachel Schmidt and Mauren Konrad.
The Dunsmuir Grade 7s won their title with a 29-13 win over Pacific Christian School, capping a perfect 6-0 season. Similar to their schoolmates, the Dunsmuir girls had a close first half but extended their lead after the break.
Team members are Rachel Gshiel, Emilie Daitl, Mya Bains, Chloe Michalski, Emily Brown, Jordan Scoville, Mikayla Standberg, Vivienne Nguyen, Makenna Gargus and Megan Eilertsen.
The team is coached by Brad Lidstone, and assisted by Vienna Nguyen.