Parkland juniors ranked fifth in B.C.

Girls basketball team looking for strong competition before Vancouver Island playoffs

Parkland’s Arianne Stevenson

Parkland’s junior girls basketball team is having a little trouble finding teams willing to play them during a bit of a lull in local hoops action this month.

So, the strong squad is hoping to invite some Vancouver-area teams over to the Island prior to the South Island playoffs in early February.

Coach Larry Green says a couple teams have cancelled games recently and he hopes to make them up later and add some extra matches into the void to keep his girls competitive.

“Sometimes, that’s what happens when you’re a ranked team,” Green said Wednesday, prior to a home game he had to scrounge up at the last minute.

The Parkland Secondary School Panthers junior girls have jumped into fifth spot in the provincial rankings. Green said those grades are based on how well a team does in games outside of their immediate area, as well as how they do against other locally ranked teams. Parkland recently beat Oak Bay, ranked 13th.

The only other ranked team in Greater Victoria at this level is Claremont (No. 10), which Green said recently cancelled a league game.

Undaunted, Green will take the girls to the mainland again this weekend, visiting Carson Graham school in North Vancouver.

Leading the way are Green’s core four — Lauren Fanelli, Arianne Stevenson, Emma Dennis and Sarah Gibson. They played on Green’s senior girls team last year as Grade 9s, but with a lack of senior-level players this season, moved them back to the junior level. The coach plans to work with them as they move up next year.

Parkland, which plays in the tier one division in the south Island, has four or five league games remaining before the lower Island finals Feb. 9 to 11. If successful there, they will play in the Island finals at Wellington school in Nanaimo the following weekend. There, Green said they could face Dover Bay, which is currently ranked 15th in the province.

Green said he hasn’t seen many teams from the north Island this season, but plans to prepare his team well for end-of-season play.