Cougars take third at zones

Brigette Peel, head coach of the Columneetza Cougars girls basketball team, said she’s proud of the way the team competed late February at the North Central Zone Basketball Championships.

The Cougars, she said, played their hearts out.

Their efforts won the team a bronze medal at the tournament, held Feb. 23-25 at Duchess Park Secondary School in Prince George.

“After a disappointing loss at regionals in Quesnel to Correlieu (secondary) we were awarded a wild card berth,” Peel said.

The wild card spot left the Cougars seeded fifth heading into the eight-team zone championship draw, which included another matchup against Correlieu in its first game of the tournament.

“We beat them 45-35,” Peel said, noting the hard work of her players to persevere.

Next up the Cougars played the number-one-seeded Duchess Park Condors from Prince George, who ended up beating them and going undefeated to win the tournament.

The loss put the Cougars on the back side of the draw; however, the team continued its winning ways beating Kelly Road secondary, 28-21, and Nechako Valley secondary (Vanderhoof) 32-31.

The Cougars played College Heights secondary (Prince George) for a spot in the final but fell, 30-17 and landed the bronze medal.

“The top two teams head off to provincials March 8-10, which were Duchess Park and College Heights,” she said.

In addition to the Cougars’ bronze medal they were also named the most sportsmanlike team of the tournament.

Annie Blois was named to the first-string all-star team.

“The girls gave everything they had and worked so hard during the tournament,” she said. “I am very proud of their effort.

“With about half the team in Grade 10 and the other half in Grade 9 we will be able to have a solid core for next year’s junior team.

“The other girls moving up to play senior will be a welcome addition to the senior program at Columneetza.”

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