It’s Grizzly Season! Basketball and Wrestling News

Both Junior teams were at home over the weekend competing in the New Years Classic, co-hosted by North Peace and Bert Bowes. The girls started strong on Friday afternoon with a match up against the Dawson Creek Senior B team. With a final score of 98-10, the Grizzlies were ready to take on PGSS on Saturday morning. Having played the Polars in their first game of the season back in December, the girls were ready for a tough game and came out with a focus and intensity that PGSS couldn’t match. The final score was 63-32 North Peace, which set the teams up for a rematch in the gold medal game. PGSS came out strong in the final, but the Grizzlies played disciplined defense and slowly chipped away at the Polars. Sophia De Torres and Alyssa Gallant lead the offense, while Elanor Copes anchored the defense. The final score was 55-30 Grizzlies. Sophia, Alyssa and Karis were named tournament all-stars, while Elanor took home the “Hustle & Heart” award. Congrats girls! 

With four teams entered in the round robin competition, the Junior Boys team went up against GP Comp in their first game on Friday and won handily. The next game was against a Dawson team which, again, the Grizzlies won with a score of 60-52. The team went up against a resilient GP Comp JV team on Saturday morning and again emerged victorious with a score of 52-45. After going undefeated in the round robin, the Grizzlies beat GP Comp in the semi final to set up a gold medal game against Dawson Creek. The championship game was tightly played with neither team up by more than 7 points at any given quarter. The Grizzlies were up by 1 point with 3 minutes to go but committed costly turnovers, defensive lapses and missed shots that the DCSS 10 capitalized on to win the tournament with a final score of 58-63. This is the second time the NPSS Grizzlies Junior Basketball team lost a championship game against DCSS 10, and with the same margin of 5 points. Cy and Temmy were named tournament all-stars, while Devon took home the “Hustle & Heart” award. The boys are excited for a rematch and redemption at the Dawson Creek tournament this weekend. 

This weekend in Grande Prairie was a tough one for the senior boy’s basketball team. The team had a lot of unforced turnovers in all three games, combined with a lack of ferocity towards 50/50 balls. In addition, there was a new offensive system implemented this weekend, which had some setbacks. However, the team still managed to advance to the finals after beating Charles Spencer 87-81, followed by a 78-67 win against Peace Wapiti Academy. The boys showed a lot of determination in both games and were able to sneak by, due to the high skill level of all ten players. The win in the semi-finals, put the Grizzlies up against GP Comp in the finals. With the college atmosphere and announcers calling out their names they started the game down 13-2. The tone of the entire game was set in those first five minutes… However, basketball is a game of runs and the Grizzlies were able to claw back Comp’s lead to down 4, at the start of the third. But in the end, a few tactical coaching errors, compounded with 34% shooting on 10/29 from 2 and 36% on 13/36 shooting from deep, led the NPSS Grizzlies to their lowest scoring game this season. GP Comp came out on top with an 83-61 win. That puts the senior boys at 7-2 on the season while advancing to finals all three tournaments. 

The wrestling team was in Grande Prairie on Saturday for the Northern Lights Wrestling Tournament. On the boys side, the Grizzlies faced some strong competition. Early losses were followed by a couple of wins and 4/5 boys went home with medals, with Jeffrey Wood taking gold. The girls had a tough go but learned a lot. Grade 12 Hailey Gillard had a strong showing, going undefeated in 4 matches and taking home a gold medal. The Grizzlies are excited to compete at the NCD Zone Championships in February! 

Up next: Junior Girls, Senior Girls and Senior Boys are in Prince George this weekend, while the Junior Boys are in Dawson Creek. Good luck Grizzlies! 

Athlete of the Week: Hailey Gillard (Gr. 12, Wrestling) – Hailey showed consistent improvement as the tournament progressed, earning her the top spot in her category. Congrats Hailey!