Academics Athletics: A balancing act

Barry Stewart

Hope Standard

Intent on fulfilling their academic duties first, three senior players of the Mustang girls’ team wore their uniforms to their Chem 12 exam, so they wouldn’t be late for their home tournament game last Friday.

“They arrived just in time,” said coach, Jeff Kuhn, of Hannah Chisholm, Verena Brysch and Ashton Wade. “They finished class at 1:30 and the tip off was at 1:45.”

The girls had a fairly easy time dispatching a younger team from Lytton’s Kumsheen Secondary, Friday morning — but they were hit by a big change of pace in the afternoon game against Ashcroft.

“At the end of the first quarter, they were up by 12-11, but we were down by 20 at the end of the half,” recalled Kuhn. “We just came unglued. I don’t know what it was, but we had bad chemistry.

When he heard of the calamity on the court, science teacher Geordie Webber replied, “Yikes! I like to avoid responsibility for most things, especially sports losses. It was impressive to see the girls show up for the test in uniforms before their game.

“One of the main themes of Chemistry 12 is equilibrium and stress,” explained Webber. “Reversible reactions are said to be at equilibrium. Stresses can push the equilibrium one way or the other.

“In the case of the game and test, I suppose that Chemistry 12 and senior basketball were in equilibrium. The stress was a friendly chemistry test that was too great and completely destroyed the equilibrium.”

Hopefully, the girls scored well on the exam.

“Something was just off, for us,” said the coach. “We were not calm and we were throwing the ball away. We had 20 turnovers in the second quarter.”

This was during the last block of the day, where students could buy their way out of class by donating a food bank item. As a result, the stands had lots of locals to cheer on the home team. They also witnessed some impressive shooting in the 3-point shooting competition at half time.

Chisholm and Faith Johnny won the two-shooter competition, by draining a combined 16 treys in one minute. Chisholm then took the individual event by scoring 13 in one minute.

The success at half time didn’t flow into the third quarter, where game officials called 13 Hope infractions, versus only one for the opponents. Chisholm, Brysch and Johnny got into foul trouble and the outcome was sealed.

Ashcoft’s #1 and #2 put on an impressive clinic on ball control, passing and shooting throughout the match — and their team went on to win the seven-team tournament.

The loss put Hope into the consolation round, where they beat Langley’s D.W. Poppy on Friday night, then Kumsheen again on Saturday.

Game MVPs for Hope in the final three games were Grade 12s Chisholm and Brysch — and Emily Taylor, a Grade 10.

“We were able to play the whole bench and everybody got in on the scoring during the tournament,” said Kuhn.

The team also welcomed back Mya Kamp, who had intended to take the year off from basketball — then realized she was missing it.

“She didn’t play much, but she had nine points and five rebounds in six minutes, against Poppy,” said coach Kuhn. “She’s our tallest player and a Grade 10. She’ll make a big difference for us against Agassiz in league play.

The Mustangs finished fourth, behind Ashcroft, Barriere and Agassiz.

Monday night, the girls faced Unity Christian at home and gave a strong effort, despite a daunting challenge.

“They are ranked first or second in the province,” said Kuhn, “so we did a lot better than I thought we would. The girls played the best defensively I’ve ever seen them play.

“The difference was the shooting,” he added. “Both teams took 71 shots. We scored on 14 per cent of ours — and they had 38 per cent.”

The girls face the Mustangs alumni in the homecoming match tonight (Dec. 19), a Christmas tradition for the school. Game time for the girls is 6:15 p.m. and the boys, 8 p.m..

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Sarah George forms a plan of attack. (Barry Stewart/ Hope Standard)

Sarah George forms a plan of attack. Barry Stewart/ Hope Standard Sarah George leaps for a shot against a tough Ashcroft defence. (Barry Stewart/ Hope Standard)

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