JV Girls at MHSAA Basketball Provincials

Back Row: Coach Lise Fraser, Assistant Coach Sydney Fedorchuk, Reed Vestby, Elijah Chartrand, Kailey McArthur, Loren Davy Middle: Ava Walker, Crystal Zamzow, Ava Hart, Katie Playford, Jacey Harness Front: Assistant Coach: Jasmine Rose

Submitted by: Lise Fraser |

The SVRSS JV Girls basketball team travelled to Winnipeg on March 9, 2022 to play in the MHSAA Provincial Tournament hosted by Sanford Collegiate. The Tigers were excited about to play in Provincials (last two years were cancelled). Even though this was the first JV Girls tournament of the season for the Tigers, the team set a goal to reach playoffs which meant winning one of the first two games. The Tigers knew the experience would provide a steep learning curve because of their limited season of only a few games compared to the full season schedule of most teams at Provincials.

The Tigers faced the St. James Jimmies in their first game, who had been ranked 2nd in the province leading up to provincials. The Jimmies proved to be a formidable opponent with exceptional outside shooting. The Tigers quickly found themselves down by over 20 points after one quarter. After some adjustments on defence, the Tigers were able to settle into the flow of the game and exchanged equal scoring opportunities with the Jimmies. The final score of the game was 50-31 in favour of the Jimmies. The outstanding defensive players for the Tigers were: Reed Vestby with 16 rebounds and 8 points. Followed by Kailey McArthur with 8 rebounds and 4 points and Ava Hart with 8 rebounds. Crystal Zamzow scored 11 points along with 10 steals. Zamzow was selected as the Player of the Game for the Tigers.

Above: Ava Hart taking a shot against Neepawa with Reed Vestby and Crystal Zamzow getting into position for rebounding.

The loss dropped the SVRSS Tigers to the Consolation side where they played Neepawa Tigers on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. (All games were cancelled on the Friday due to closed highways.) SVRSS knew that this game was a must-win because a loss would drop them out of the tournament. With that as an incentive the Tigers jumped out to an early lead over Neepawa by using a zone press. The front end of the press, Zamzow, Ava Hart, Katie Playford, Jacey Harness and Ava Walker created multiple turnovers resulting in layups for the Tigers. The Tigers pulled back on the press after establishing a lead and focussed on scoring utilizing specific plays. The post players, Loren Davy, Elijah Chartrand, Vestby and McArthur ruled the boards with dominant rebounding resulting in either fast breaks or 2nd shot attempts for the Tigers. Vestby posted a double double with scoring 12 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. The shot of the tournament was made by Harness as she swished a three pointer in the last 30 seconds of the game. The Final score was 61-16 in favour of Swan Valley Tigers. Katie Playford was selected as the Player of the Game for the Tigers, scoring 9 points and pulling in 9 rebounds. The Tigers celebrated their first win at Provincials which meant they advanced to the semi-final playoffs on the Consolation side.

Above: Elijah Chartrand, Katie Playford, Reed Vestby, Ava Hart protecting the key during an inbound play.

The Tigers played Beausejour Barons in the semi-final at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday. The game proved to be close as both teams utilized a defensive press to limit scoring opportunities. In the first half both teams created turnovers but neither was able to capitalize to build a significant lead. In the 3rd quarter the Barons managed to build a lead of 12 points.

In the 4th quarter the Tigers out scored the Barons but could only cut the lead to 9 points. The Tigers battled right up to the end of the game with Davy scoring a basket in the final seconds. Defensively the Tigers rebounded well as an entire team led by Playford with 9 rebounds and 5 points, Vestby with 7 rebounds and Hart with 5 rebounds. Elijah Chartrand was selected as Player of the Game with 8 points and 7 rebounds.

Head coach Lise Fraser and assistant coaches Jasmine Rose and Sydney Fedorchuk were very proud of how hard the team played and the ‘never give up’ attitude displayed during their final game. Coach Fraser was appreciative of the assistance from Jasmine and Sydney (former SVRSS basketball players) in coaching this year. From the beginning of the season to the final game at Provincials there was a significant improvement in individual player’s skills and team play.