Vanier on top

Katie Brickman
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Spirits win junior girls basketball title

For the third straight year, it was the same two teams battling for the title.

Vanier won the junior girls basketball title on Wednesday evening after defeating Peacock in the final. The team includes, in no particular order, Kirah Brown, Jaycee Ludke, Anna Ross, Melanie Compain, Hannah Wilder, Kianna Avery, Megan Auger, Morgan Ferraton, Alexis Jones, Katie Mullen, Madelyn Delmage, Taylor Zaremba, Josee Pelletier, coaches Brad Moser and Derek Hassen and manager Tracy Wilder. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman

This year, it was the Vanier Spirits that claimed the junior girls city title on Wednesday evening.

“We had a fantastic season and they are a great bunch of girls,” said Brad Moser, head coach of Vanier.

Vanier lost early in the season to Central but then tore through the league, finishing at 8-1 on the year.

That momentum carried them to a 60-47 win over Peacock in the final.

“At the beginning of the year, we were a decent team and then we consistently improved throughout the season,” said Moser.

The Vanier gym was thunderous with cheers, chants and shouting from both schools.

The Spirits were lucky enough to know for two weeks prior to this match that they would be hosting this game, so through the power of social media and advertising the game in the school, a big crowd gathered.

“It was a fun environment for both sides. Peacock fans were fantastic and the Vanier fans were fantastic,” said Moser.

With five Grade 12s on the roster, the Spirits are still quite young, although they looked strong on the court throughout the game, no matter what lines they put out.

“We are a pretty young team,” said Moser. “A lot of very talented Grade 9s that came out and we are very fortunate they did.”

This year, the basketball teams — junior and senior girls — came together to run similar systems.

“We had some help at the beginning of the season from our senior coaches so that these girls play at a higher level, they fit right into the system. It was obviously a system that worked well for us,” stated Moser. “As a junior coach, I have always had the perspective that you run your basketball programs for your senior team.”

Moser was excited about how working together would benefit the girls on the junior team when they reach Grade 11 and move up into the senior ranks.

“Now these girls might get a chance to play some senior ball for a couple weeks and know what they are stepping into,” said Moser.

Peacock has won this title in 2010, 2011 and in 2013.

Jaycee Ludke had a game high 15 points for Vanier. In the loss, Sara Marshall had 11 points for Peacock.

The junior boys schedule continues for a couple for weeks. The city final for Grades 9 and 10 on March 6 and rural final 9-12 on March 6.

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