© Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now
The Amherst Selects gather around their provincial championship banner in the Amherst Regional High School cafeteria. The selects are: Sonia Minocha, Maddison Bennett, Miah Tooley, Stephanie MacDonald, Rachel Chevarie, (back, from left) coach Patti Bennett, Renee Allen, Risha McKenney, Hannah Beland, Brooke Wilson, Emma Taylor, assistant coach Lauren Chitty, coach Charlie Chambers.
AMHERST - The Amherst Selects travelled to Eastern Passage over the weekend and returned home as the 2014 Basketball Nova Scotia Midget Girls Division 3 Provincial Champions.
“It was exciting because last year we lost in the final by five points, and this year we were able to come back and win,” said Grade 10 ARHS student Maddison Bennett.
Bennett, along with Grade 11 student Miah Tooley, are the Selects captains.
“It felt great to win the provincials,” said Tooley. “We played as a team and came together and pulled off the win.”
In the championship game it was the Selects beating the Cape Breton Jr. Mauraders 47-35.
Hannah Beland led the Selects with 14 points, followed by Brooke Wilson with 12, Risha McKenney with five, Rachel Chevarie, Miah Tooley and Emma Taylor with four each, and Sonia Minocha with two points.
Bennett says their players on the post, Tooley, Beland, Wilson, and Taylor, came through for them.
“Our posts were bigger than most of the other girls so we were able to do a lot of high/lows, and the other teams couldn’t really shut them down,” said Bennett.
Selects coach, Charlie Chambers said the win felt good.
“It was nice surprise, especially the way our JV season ended because we didn’t go to provincials, so to win provincials was really nice,” said Chambers.
He says the team came together on both offence and defence.
“We made some adjustments, especially in the defensive zone, and it worked really well for us in that respect,” said Chambers. “We are very proud of their efforts and how hard they all worked. It paid off with a provincial title.”
Chambers wasn’t able to be at the championship game because he attended a funeral.
“A friend passed away, so Patti (Bennett) helped coach and she did a great job,” said Chambers.
He also thanked assistant coach Lauren Chitty, who is also a student at ARHS.
“Lauren is mature and she has a great basketball IQ,” said Chambers. “She’s so positive, and that’s good for the kids.”
He also thanked team sponsors, the parents of the players, and thanked his wife.
“I am very fortunate to have the support and encouragement of my wonderful wife Ruth,” said Chambers.
This will be the last year of midget basketball for many of the girls.
“Seven will go up and play juvenile next season because they will be too old for midget basketball,” said Maddison Bennett.
The girls also thanked Chambers for coaching them.
“We like to tease Charlie about his hair,” said Bennett.
“We call him the bald eagle,” added Tooley.
Chambers says they were a great group to coach.
“They take digs at my hair all the time,” said Chambers with a laugh. “They are a fun group of girls and, as a team, we really came together.”