© John DeCoste
Maria Rodrigues, left, of Kentville, and Haley McDonald and Jayda Veinot, both of Port Williams, are all part of the Basketball Nova Scotia U-17 girls’ provincial team. The three are among nine Valley players who will compete at the national U-15 and U-17 championships starting July 25 in Edmonton, in addition to Deon Wilson of Kentville, head coach of the U-17 boys’ provincial team.
Nova Scotia brought a pair of medals back from the Canada Basketball 15-U and 17-U nationals held July 25-30 in Edmonton.
Both the Nova Scotia 17-U and 15-U boys captured bronze medals July 30, the 17-U boys with an 83-67 win over New Brunswick and the 15-U boys with a 91-86 victory over Manitoba.
In fact, all four Nova Scotia teams managed to win the final games they played at the tournament.
Also July 30, the 15-U girls topped New Brunswick 73-65 in their fifth-place game, and the 17-U girls edged P.E.I. 66-63 to claim seventh place in their division.
All of the four Nova Scotia provincial teams but the 15-U boys featured Valley players. Maia Timmons of Hantsport and Alaina Poirier of Kentville played on the 15-U girls.
Haley McDonald and Jayda Veinot, both of Port Williams, and Maria Rodrigues of Kentville, were on the 17-U girls, while Matt Ingham of Wolfville, Gage Sabean of Port Williams, Dre Medicraft of Canning and Mitch Tempro of Three Mile Plains were on the 17-U boys’ team, whose head coach is Deon Wilson of Kentville.
All the local-area players attend Horton High School with the exception of Medicraft, who is a student at Northeast Kings Education Centre.
17-U boys action
The 17-U boys opened their national tournament with an 80-69 win over Alberta, with Tempro scoring 13 points, then improved to 2-0 with a 71-68 win over P.E.I. On day three, Nova Scotia edged Quebec 87-84, with Sabean scoring 14 points. With a 3-0 record, the boys advanced directly to the semifinal, where they met Manitoba and dropped an 83-65 decision.
Sabean was the top local player with eight points.
Advancing to the bronze medal game against New Brunswick, Nova Scotia won by a 16-point margin. Sabean finished with seven points and Tempro had three. Ingham and Medicraft both saw action but did not score.
17-U girls action
The 17-U girls opened their tournament with a 68-50 win over P.E.I., with Veinot contributing 13 points and 10 rebounds. The girls improved to 2-0 with an 84-63 win over Quebec, with McDonald scoring 11 points and Veinot six.
On day three, Nova Scotia lost 55-52 to Alberta, with Veinot scoring 11 points and McDonald six. The girls then rallied to top Newfoundland and Labrador 74-55, with McDonald leading the team with 21 points, Veinot adding six and Rodrigues five.
On day four, the girls lost 62-49 to Ontario, leaving them to play for seventh place. McDonald had five points, Veinot four and Rodrigues three.
In the win over New Brunswick in the seventh-place game, McDonald had 10 points, Veinot eight and Rodrigues two.
The 15-U girls opened their tournament with a 72-46 loss to Quebec. Timmons had five points and Poirier two. The girls then fell to 0-2 with a 95-77 loss to Saskatchewan. Timmons was one of her team’s top scorers with 15 points. In their third straight loss, this time 65-55 to B.C. on day three, Timmons had 13 points.
The 15-U girls then finished the tournament with three straight victories, beginning with a 74-59 win over Newfoundland and Labrador on day four. Timmons again reached double figures with 10 points, and Poirier added four.
On day five, Nova Scotia topped Alberta 68-50, with Timmons scoring 18 points, her high for the tournament, and Poirier chipping in two points. In the win over New Brunswick in the fifth-place game, Timmons had 12 points.
The Nova Scotia 15-U boys had a solid tournament en route to their third-place finish. The boys opened with a 106-49 drubbing of P.E.I. An 80-55 win over Saskatchewan on day two and a 95-71 win over Alberta on day three improved the team to 3-0.
Like the 17-U boys, the 15-Us advanced directly to the semifinals, where they lost 83-56 to Ontario. In the bronze-medal game, the 15-U boys outlasted Manitoba by five in a close match.