The Booth Memorial Braves high school girls’ basketball team was almost perfect this season, and they could be better next year.
© — Submitted photo
The Booth Memorial Braves high school girls’ basketball team.
The team finished with a remarkable 45-1 record on the season, 49-1 if you include the Braves’ Grade 11 tournament win.
They won the four major high school tournaments — including the provincial 4As, Hall of Fame Cup, Sweet 16 and the St. John’s league championship — along with a couple of others as they vanquished their foes this past season.
An example of the team’s dominance was Booth’s 55-32 win over Gonzaga Vikings in Hall of Fame Cup (Elite Eight) tourney.
Ironically, the team’s only loss came in its own invitational tournament in early January when they fell to St. Kevin’s Mavericks in the final.
It wasn’t a fluke, according to Braves’ coach Geoff Moore.
“They (St. Kevin’s) just came into our gym and beat us,” said Moore. “They hit 11 three-pointers. It was an incredible performance. We played well, but they shot the lights out.”
Moore said his team may have been feeling a “little cocky” after winning about 20 games in a row before they met the Mavericks for the first time.
“That loss motivated us for the rest of the year,” said Moore.
The Braves’ coach said his team didn’t plan to go undefeated all season anyway, although he knew they were very good.
“We just played it one game, one tournament at a time.”
Moore has coached many of the players on this year’s senior high school team since Grade 3.
“Starting them young and giving them core skills is the way to go,” said Moore, who expects a lot of his current players will probably make the provincial team.
“We won the Eastern Canadian championship in 2011 with most of these kids. They’ve been together a long time and therfore they play well together.”
There’s no doubt the team is loaded with talent.
“We put five players on the floor who can score and play defence. I don’t think there is another high school team out there who have players who can all score and all contribute on defence,” noted Moore.
“They all have great individual skills, but our defensive intensity is what makes the team so good.”
For example, in the provincial 4As, the Braves gave up, respectively, 47, 25, 51, 58 and 48 points in their five straight wins on the way to the championship.
“It’s very hard to play against us because we are all solid defensively and we can all score,” said Moore, who added the team is nine to 11 deep and everyone gets to play.
The squad is only graduating two players which Moore says makes them the team to beat again next season.