NANAIMO — For the first time since 1988 Nanaimo District Secondary's senior girls basketball team are the champions of Vancouver Island.
No north island team has won the title since NDSS took the crown in '88, and with that comes a berth into the BC High School Basketball AAA Provincials.
The team made of mostly Grade 11 and Grade 12 students went 5-1 in their league play and also competed in four tournaments.
The Islanders had two second place finishes in those events, and came first in the Wellington 'Superball' tournament.
NDSS won the North Island Championship on the road against Cowichan and were the hosts for the Island Championship.
The Islanders won a nailbiter 62-61 in the final last weekend, with assistant coach Franjo Crnkovic praising his squad for stepping up against Royal Bay.
"We led the game anywhere from 12 points to four points, but to win it by one it was unreal. It was a huge accomplishment, we were super ecstatic to bring back the Island Championship to the north," said Crnkovic.
AUDIO - Coach Crnkovic on the end of the Island Championship game:
Sessaly Buck of the Islanders was named the tournament MVP while Erin Jensen was selected as the top defensive player.
NDSS standouts Jayden Saywell and Ava Johnson were named All-Stars, Saywell getting first team honours, and Johnson being selected to the second All-Star team.
The Islanders have seven Grade 11's, five Grade 12's, and a Grade 10 student on their roster and they'll now set their sights on the provincial championship.
They'll head to Langley for an awards banquet on Feb 26 and then start their journey as the 13th seed the next day at the Langley Events Centre.
NDSS will play number four Yale (from Abbotsford) at 4:45 p.m. on Feb 27.
All the results from the 70th BC provincial tournament can be found here.
On twitter: @danmarshall77
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