AMHERST – The inaugural Amherst Regional High School Vikings and Vikettes Invitational Tournament begins Thursday at ARHS.
“This is the first time we’ll be playing in the same spot and we’ll be able to support each other,” said Vikettes coach Gillian Ellis. “Usually we’re playing on other ends of the province.”
The tournament is a tune-up for the regional championships the following weekend.
“It will get us mentally prepared for the caliber of basketball we’ll have to play once we hit the playoffs,” said Ellis.
Vikings coach Matthew Gamblin said it will offer an opportunity for his team to tighten up on defence.
“They’ve shown 100 per cent improvement but there’s still room for improvement,” he said.
“Defence wins championships, so you have to be able to defend the ball and rebound the ball,” she said. “The more times we can have the ball in our hands the more chances we have to score, and that depends on defence.”
Both coaches’ thank the parents for their support throughout the season.
“They’ve been great at organizing things and make it a lot easier for me,” said Gamblin.
"They’ve really taken the reigns at helping out with the behind the scenes stuff,” added Ellis.
“Fred Gould, the athletic director for the school, has been amazing as well,” said Ellis. “He always tries his best to make things happen.”
Ellis hopes the students get excited about the tourney and get into the school spirit.
“We have the stage band coming,” said Ellis. “We want to build the spirit of athletics at this school because there’s a lot of good basketball going on in Amherst and, ultimately, those players want to play at ARHS.”
Boy’s teams competing at the tournament are: ARHS, South Colchester, Hants East, Tantramar.
Girl’s teams competing at the tournament are: ARHS, Bathurst, Three Oaks Senior High (PEI), Yarmouth.
The Schedule is as follows:
2 p.m. – Tantramar vs. Vikings
4 p.m. – Pugwash vs. South Colchester boys
6 p.m. – TOSH vs. Vikettes
8 p.m. – Yarmouth vs. Bathurst girls
2 p.m. – Bathurst vs. Vikettes
4 p.m. – Vikings vs. South Colchester
6 p.m. – TOSH vs. Yarmouth girls
8 p.m. – Tantramar vs. Pugwash boys
9 a.m. – Bathurst vs. TOSH girls
11 a.m. – Tantramar vs. South Colchester boys
1 p.m. – Yarmouth vs. Vikettes
3 p.m. – Pugwash vs. Vikings