Excited screams from the Charles Hays Secondary School (CHSS) senior girls basketball team echoed through the gymnasium when the final buzzer rang on Saturday evening, as tears of joy welled in many of the players’ eyes.
Their hard work paid off; they were zone champions.
The CHSS Rainmakers hosted the Senior Girls Basketball “AA” Northwest Zone Championship on Saturday, beating out their only competitors from Smithers Secondary School 65-42 in the final match.
“The girls were tenacious; They worked really hard,” said coach Sara Barrow, who said a number of the girls had been practicing since September.
“They bonded nicely this season, and are a tight-knit group of girls.”
In the first game on Saturday, the Rainmakers defeated Smithers 48-34, with Grade 12 player Celina Guadagni scoring 26 of the team’s points and Grade 12 student Natalie Repole earning seven.
The Rainmakers were confident when they took the court for their second game against the Smithers Gryphons, starting the first quarter off in the lead. But the quarter ended in Smithers’ favour, 15-14.
Early in the second CHSS tied things up 17-17 and continued to build their lead for the remainder of the game.
Starting the final quarter with an eighteen point advantage, the senior girls kept the momentum going in the last 10 minutes. In the end, the Rainmakers beat out the Gryphons 65-42 with 14 of the team’s points coming from Grade 12 player Sarah McChesney and 24 from Guadagni, who was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2014 Northwest Zone Championship.
“I’m proud to be MVP, but it was a team effort. I’m excited for everyone,” said Guadagni.
Prince Rupert’s Tanveen Randhawa, who’s in Grade 11, was selected for the Top Defensive Player award, with CHSS’ Natalie Repole being named a zone all-star along with Smithers’ Sonja Worsfold and Morgan Monkman.
The win qualified Prince Rupert’s senior girls to compete in the “AA” provincials in March, taking place at the Langley Events Centre from March 5-8.
“We worked really hard this season … we’re hoping to get in the top 10 of the province. I think we have a good shot,” Guadagni said.