While many classmates were performing in Christmas concerts, Dunsmuir middle school Grade 6-7 girls basketball players were gearing up for the school’s third straight trip to the city championship game.
After using a fourth-quarter comeback to tie the game and force overtime against the previously undefeated Royal Oak Eagles, the Colwood-based Dragons got the job done in the second OT, beating Royal Oak 28-26 for the city title on Thursday at St. Michaels University School.
The final and deciding points in the game came on a strong drive to the hoop from Dunsmuir guard Mikayla Eadie, who made a difficult layup to give the Dragons the lead for good with just under two minutes to go. After denying Royal Oak’s attempt to even the score, Dunsmuir guards Peyton Bains, Eadie and Ella Scoville moved the ball around to kill the clock and secure the victory.
Having lost just once in the regular season, a close contest against these same Eagles, the Graham Treloar-coached Dunsmuir girls were excited to meet Royal Oak in the final for a rematch.
The game proved equally as close as the teams’ previous game, with both sides trading points until late in the third quarter when Royal Oak went on a run and opened up an eight-point lead.
Dunsmuir held their composure, however, and with only a few minutes left in the fourth quarter, got their offence back on track, largely due to the outside shooting of Bains, who made some long baskets to fire up her team and help them tie it up after regulation play.
The first three-minute overtime period saw little scoring, with both teams showing off their defensive skills. Big rebounds from forwards Hanna Erickson and Emily Barron drew big cheers from the large crowd of Dunsmuir supporters in attendance, who continued to be vocal through the final overtime period.
This year’s success was sweet for Grade 7 players Scoville, Erickson, and Sophie Bossi, who won last year as Grade 6s. Their previous experience in the city finals was helpful in calming teammates’ nerves and controlling the pace of the game.
With several Grade 6 players on this year’s winning team, Dunsmuir will be looking to defend their title again next year.
– Contributed by Michelle Scoville