Lumby’s Charles Bloom Secondary Timberwolves won a wild card game to qualify for the B.C. A Senior Girls Basketball Championships March 4-7 in Kelowna. (Facebook photo)

Lumby squad wins wild-card entry to provincials

Charles Bloom Timberwolves draw No. 1-ranked team for B.C. A senior girls tourney in Kelowna

Draw the No. 1 ranked team in the province, who happen to be the defending champions, in the opening round of the B.C. A Senior Girls Basketball Championships?

No problem for Lumby’s Charles Bloom Timberwolves.

After all, the Timberwolves are a team that, this season, has been stranded overnight in Revelstoke in –20 degree weather due to a road closure; had the power go out in the middle of its home tournament, forcing a move to another gym; and who qualified for the provincials with its very last chance: winning a wild card game Tuesday, Feb. 25, against the Hope Mustangs.

“We’ve had situations that rarely happen in a year, let alone in a career coaching,” said Bloom coach Jennifer Currie. “Every game, though, the girls have shown heart and hustle. They simply don’t give up.”

After a successful 2018-19 campaign that saw the Timberwolves finish seventh at the provincials and win the Barry Dearing Fair Play Trophy (named for late Salmon Arm referee), Currie wasn’t sure what this year’s squad would look like, having had a majority of its players graduate in ‘19.

READ MORE: Rotary honours top North Okanagan high school athletes

Several players put in time in the off-season, like Jessica Verhage, whose role changed from that of a post player to leading the team as its point guard. Verhage has spent time with the UBC Okanagan Heat junior program. Teammates Ellie and Erika Hymas and Marissa Blaney joined the Next Level Club Basketball program, and Currie said the work they’ve put in “is obvious.”

The T-Wolves have been ranked 16th for the provincials March 4-7 at Kelowna Christian School, hence the opening-round matchup with the top-rated defending champs, Credo Christian Kodiaks of Langley.

“We will have a hard battle playing our first game against Credo,” said Currie.

The Timberwolves were named the 2019 Team of the Year in the fifth annual Rotary Athletic Awards.

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