‘This is our school family’: ADSS Sr Girls take second at Totem 68 | Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper

‘This is our school family’: ADSS Sr Girls take second at Totem 68

Port Alberni, BC

The Alberni District Secondary’s Sr Girls basketball team placed second to Pacific Christian School (PCS) 41-73 at Totem 68 after a fast-paced game of battling up and down the court, using their sense of teamwork and communication to their advantage.

“I was hoping we were [going to] get to this spot,” said Hayleigh Watts of Tseshaht, before going on court for her final game on Saturday, Jan. 13.

Going into the game Watts, who was awarded All Star for Totem 68 alongside her teammate Ella McDougal, knew it would be tough playing PCS.

“This team is good,” she added. “But we both deserve to be here.”

Watts and Mary Robinson, also of Tseshaht, both agreed working as a team and communication would help them throughout the game.

“We know this team, probably as good as any team in the tournament,” said Freethy of Pacific Christian School. “They're a strong team [with a] strong program.”

PCS has played in the finals in Totem over the last fours, winning the tournament in 2020. But placing second to ADSS in 2022.

“This will be their fourth year in a row where they've been in the final,” said Freethy of the ADSS squad. “They lost to Belmont last year, and now we're back, so it's kind of like a little tiebreaker.”

For this group of girls, they have been playing together on and off for almost three years.

“I think it's extra help for us [because] we know each other and we know how to play with each other,” said Robinson.

“We play as a team, we hype each other up, we know when somebody's down, we can just tell even if they don't [want to] tell us,” said Watts.

“We're all very straight up with each other, which is really good for a very fast, physical, contact sport like this,” added Jaidin Knighton, a Ditidaht and Ahousaht player on the team.

“Most of us have kind of grown from… Grade 9 year, together,” said Kura Rorick, a Hesquiaht and Haida player.

On Friday’s game against Dover Bay, Knighton noted that it was an ‘off day’ for the team. Though, they took the win 41-34.

“We were all tired, so we… all weren't in it,” said Knighton, adding that half of her teammates were focused on ‘pumping’ one another up.

“It was a really great demonstration of how close we are,” said Knighton. “We're actually a team, this is our family, this is our school family.”

“Totem has really showed that to us,” Knighton added.

From cheering with her team on the bench, to celebrating at the end of the games, to pep talks on the court, Knighton shared that the team has had “so much fun” through Totem 68. 

“This is the first really big tournament for most of us, and we're all super excited that the crowd is on our side,” said Knighton. “And that we're all doing it together, and we're all super proud of each other.”

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