The UBCO Jr. Heat went 2-1 in Prairie Elite Under 17 Girls Basketball League play last weekend in Calgary.
The Heat opened by jolting the Lethbridge Jr. Horns 68-45 with Naomi Kent draining 22 points and recording seven rebounds.
Jaeli Ibbetson added 14 points and seven boards, while Kelsey Falk (Vernon Panthers) provided eight points, five rebounds and five steals. Rylee Seminuk had eight points and four assists.
“Going into the weekend, we talked about having a good start and playing four strong quarters and we did that in this game, setting the tone for the weekend,” said Heat lead assistant coach Bobby Mitchell, of Vernon.
In Game 2, the Jr. Heat lost 51-47 to the Alberta Jr. Pandas of Edmonton.
Top scorers were Ibbetson, with 15 points and eight rebounds, Falk, with a dozen points and nine rebounds, and Naomi Kent, with nine points.
“Despite the loss, we thought this was our best game of the season so far,” said Mitchell. “I was very proud of the girls for their compete and mental toughness in this game where we lost Kelsey Falk early in the first half with an injury (she returned for the second half) and lost Kassiday Day early in the fourth after picking up her fifth personal foul.”
UBCO trailed by three points with under a minute to go and had some great execution to get the shot they wanted but it didn’t fall.
The Heat iced the Grant MacEwan Jr Griffins of Edmonton 72-54 in their last game with Falk canning 23 points and grabbing nine rebounds.
Ibbetson flushed 15 points and pocketed six rebounds, while Kent counted 13 points and five boards and Lexi Corday (Grade 9) added six points.
“Again we got off to a quick start and took control early leading 39-26 at the half. Paige Watson really provided a spark off the bench early and really got the energy going for the team with her hustle and rebounding. Jordan Kemper as she did all weekend played outstanding defence blocking shots, rebounding and not letting their big players get going.
“Our goal coming into the weekend was to play good consistent basketball through four quarters each game and we felt that goal was reached. I am proud of how hard this team works and their compete level day in day out, we really showed well in the two PEBL tourneys which bodes well for the rest of our summer moving forward. We finish the PEBL league with a 5-2 record (best ever in PEBL) and a 9-3 record overall that includes a loss to the alumni. This team has high expectations of themselves and very motivated to keep getting better as the summer goes on.”
“We were able to play in front of a number of U Sport head coaches and assistants plus a number of college coaches in both Edmonton and Calgary. That type of exposure they just can’t get at any club tourney.”