St. Stephen – The St. Stephen Spartans varsity girls basketball team wanted to end their regular season with a bang, and that’s just what they did.
The squad hosted the AAA Harbour View Vikings in seniors’ night at the St. Stephen High School Tuesday and finished with a 99-46 result.
The Spartans scored 16 three-pointers.
“I cannot recall in my 30 plus years of coaching ever having a team with 16 threes in a game,” Spartans coach Dave Taylor mused. “That’s just unheard of, and it’s particularly unheard of in high school basketball.”
But it wasn’t just the 48 points in three-point baskets Taylor was happy with.
“What I was more pleased with was that we defended and shared the ball,” he explained.
“Some nights we’re going to score more than others, but the fact that we were creating scoring opportunities for teammates and that we were defending the way we were, and not giving up anything easy to me was just as impressive.”
Watching Grade 11, three year varsity player Mallory Davis logging eight of those three-point shots, scoring six in the first quarter alone (yes, you read that correctly) was a memorable thing of beauty.
“My record is six (three-pointers),” Davis laughed. “I got eight today, so I was pretty pumped.”
Davis put up a total of 26 points in the win, while Teagan Barry added 17 – hot on the three-point baskets herself, sinking five.
The Spartans started the game strong and set the tone over their AAA opponents in the first quarter – playing an unforgiving defence, and near impossible for the Vikings to defend against, the team jumped out to a 36-6 lead at the end of the first.
Davis explained the strong start is exactly what the Spartans were hungry for.
“We really needed to (start strong) ‘cause the last few games we had a rough start and we weren’t really coming out very pumped up and ready to go,” Davis said, adding the team was fired up for seniors’ night.
“We decided that we needed to come out flying, ‘cause we knew it was going to be a hard game and that we were flat our last few games, and wanted to really win this one.”
But the excitement for the Spartans hasn’t ended yet.
The squad is slated to host the South West Regional Tournament this Friday and Saturday at the St. Stephen High School. It’s the first time the tournament has been hosted in St. Stephen since Taylor began teaching at SSHS in 2001.
Finishing first in the south with an undefeated 6-0 record, the Spartans have a bye into sectionals. On Saturday, the team will meet the winner of a Friday night matchup with the Fundy Mariners and Southern Victoria Vikings.
Senior and first year varsity player Elizabeth Scott (a student Taylor said “fits right in” to the program) said the opportunity to host regionals is an exciting one.
“I think it’s a really cool experience in my last year to be able to host regionals and be in sectionals too. I’m really excited and I know everyone else is too.”
Starting the season, the Spartans weren’t expected to reach the successes they have, after losing five integral seniors. But it’s the team’s hard work that’s led them to the position they’re currently in, explained Scott.
“Honestly, as a team we all were shocked by it, but we’ve earned it. We’ve all worked so hard toward this and we’ve all worked together so well all season, there’s never been a single issue.”
As the team prepares for playoffs, Taylor said he’s placed an emphasis to the team on not looking past Saturday’s 12 o’clock game.
Games played Friday evening are must-win to advance. Rothesay and Woodstock will tip-off at 6 p.m., with the Fundy and Southern Victoria game to follow. At 4 p.m. Saturday, the two morning non-winners will play for third and fourth seeding in sectionals. At 6 p.m., the two morning winners will play for first and second seeding.
“We’re fully prepared to defend our home court, and play well on Saturday and take our chances. If we come out and play well, I think we’re a tough team to beat if we’re playing well,” Taylor said.
“We play hard and we play unselfish – those are two things that are key to success in any team. I think we play unselfish basketball; we celebrate just as hard when anyone scores.”
South West Regional Schedule
6 p.m. – Rothesay vs. Carleton North
8 p.m. – Fundy vs. Southern Victoria
10 a.m. – Woodstock (western conference winner) vs. Rothesay/Carleton North winner
12 p.m. – St. Stephen vs. Fundy/Southern Victoria winner
4 p.m. – Non-winner of game three and four play for third and fourth seeding
6 p.m. – Winner of game three and four play for first and second seeding