They may have seen a couple of injuries throughout the season, but that didn’t stop the Conestogo Colts girls’ basketball team from a four-peat of their perfect record in championship play.
The Colts won the final game against Waterloo’s Vista Hills 31-8, after beating the Waterloo’s Ednas Staebler PS in the quarters and Kitchener’s Chicopee Hills PS in the semis held last month at Bluevale Collegiate Institute.
Coach Laura McMillan said a big challenge came during their semi-final game against Chicopee Hills.
“It was a bit of a nail-biter at times,” said McMillan with a laugh. “A lot of that had to do with injuries and kids not playing where they normally played. We had to do a lot of shuffling around of different positions and lines. It was a gym with very different backboards than what some of them were used to. So that was a bit of a problem, but we still won. We made it through.”
The team is fairly experienced in the sport: three of the team members play outside of school in rep basketball. Ten out of the 14 have played basketball before, meaning the majority of team members are very familiar with the drills given during their twice-a-week practices.
“They helped the four new girls learn – it makes things go way faster when you already have a whole bunch of kids that already know what’s going on,” said McMillan. “So we just worked in a few new inbounding plays this year.”
Many of the girls on the team play other sports as well, including soccer, ringette, and hockey; coaches take the offensive and defensive concepts from other sports and apply it to the basketball court. Skill building, along with offensive and defensive strategies, is crucial to the team’s success.
“They’ve won four back-to-back championships – they’re undefeated in four years,” said McMillan. “They’re still very humble, happy and excited. They are not cocky about it. The girls that do play rep outside of school really do care about everyone else being a participant, and they help everyone work together.”
The score sheet is generally quite even; it is not just the highly experienced players scoring all the points – everyone contributes. Other coaching staff includes Conestogo PS phys. ed. teacher Jaime Robertson and Aidan McLennan.
McMillan added that she hoped the girls continue with their athletic pursuits.
“Many of them are moving off to high school, so we really hope to see them play on the EDSS team next year.”
Team members include Delaney Cortes, Brooke Rempel, Emma Cote, Macy Weber, Gwyneth Martin, Eadyn Meier, Serena Hoag, Abby Schill, Keturah Martin, Lottie Martin, Niya Garan, Emily Ferguson, Jessica Schmitt and Caela McLennan.