ARHS squads prep for postseason with successful weekends
AMHERST - The road to the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation basketball championship begins here tonight for the Amherst Regional High School Vikettes as they host Hants East in Division 2 Northumberland regional play.
The Vikettes also host South Colchester on Thursday with both games at 5:15 p.m.
South Colchester and Hants East played last night in Brookfield.
The winner of the regional advances to the provincial championship tournament at Northeast Kings Education Centre in Canning in early March.
In Division 2 boys play, the Vikings will be in Milford on Friday for the Northumberland regional.
The Vikings, who are hosting the eight-team provincial, play host Hants East at 4 p.m., and South Colchester at 6 p.m.
South Colchester and Hants East met last night in Milford.
The Division 3 boys regional will be held in Springhill with Hants North facing Guysborough in one regional semifinal Friday at 6 p.m., with second-seeded Springhill playing East Antigonish at 8 p.m.
The consolation game goes Saturday at 11 a.m., with the championship at 1 p.m. The winner and runner-up advance to provincials in Mabou.
The Division 3 girls tournament will be held in Guysborough with six teams vying for a provincial berth.
Springhill enters as the top seed while Musquodoboit, Guysborough, Pictou Academy, Hants North and East Antigonish are also participating.
The Division 4 boys regional will go at North Colchester in Tatamagouche with the host team seeded No. 1. Colchester Christian Academy of Truro, Oxford, Pugwash, Pictou and Parrsboro are also competing.
Oxford is hosting the Division 4 girls regional tournament, though seedings have yet to be determined. Oxford, Pugwash and Parrsboro are in while the final placing is between River Hebert and North Colchester.
Games go at 5 and 7 p.m., on Friday and 11 a.m., and 1 p.m. on Saturday.
The Vikettes warmed up for the playoffs by going 3-0 over the weekend to claim the top spot at the Northumberland Regional High School tournament in New Glasgow.
In the Vikettes' first game, Taylor MacDonald's 21 points earned her the MVP award for Amherst's 58-42 win over Oxford.
Katelyn Peters added 18 points for the Vikettes. Oxford's top scorer was Emily Davis with 12.
Amherst won its second game over Inverness 63-25.
Tina Leggett was named game MVP with 11 points, and Peters followed with 10.
Kirsty MacDonald was named game MVP in Amherst's third win, 54-52 over the host team.
Top scorers for the Vikettes were Peters with 15 and Leggett with 10.
Coach Gillian Ellis said the Vikettes had a balanced offensive attack with everyone contributing.
"We were able to get out and run, which led to some easy looks on the basket," Ellis said.
"Our team is quick and we have a lot of success when we look to push the ball."
In Pugwash, the Vikings erased a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat Hants North 62-61 in the deciding game of the Pugwash Invitational tournament last weekend.
The Vikings' offence came alive late in the game and led as much as six points in the dying seconds but Amherst was unable to convert some foul shots to put the game away.
The Vikings needed a defensive stop with less than 15 seconds left to secure the win.
Centre Ryan Budd returned to form as he recorded 21 points, nine rebounds and reached 1,000 points for his high school career. Budd is the second Vikings player this season to reach this milestone.
Richard Hope racked up 27 points for the winners.
Earlier in the tournament Amherst defeated Memorial 74-44, with Hope netting 18 points, Sammy Mohamad 14 and Budd 10.
Amherst also defeated Pugwash, 63-57, with Hope scoring 34 points. Budd added nine.