Rossland Royals Senior Girls play final home game

For four seniors on the Rossland Girls Basketball team, Tuesday night was the last home game of their high school basketball careers.

Rossland’s Brenna Mackay played her last home game in the RSS gym against Grand Forks Monday night. Mackay and three other seniors graduate this year.

Tuesday night was an emotional one for some of the Rossland Secondary’s Senior Girls basketball team.

That’s because for four seniors, it was the final game they would play on their home court as a part of that team.

“It’s kind of emotional, because our big goal for Grade 12 was to go to provincials and hopefully do well there,” Brenna Mackay, one of the teams seniors said. “But everyone is going away for Spring Break and we can’t make it because it’s all the way in Prince George.”

The girls have had a spectacular 26-3 season which they will finish off this weekend in Fernie for the East/West Kootenay Championships. The tournament is a qualifier for the B.C. single A Provincials. Unfortunately they won’t be able to make the provincials because of a number of reasons, despite being a shoe-in.

This year’s provincials are in Prince George, which presents travel problems, but even so, other scheduling conflicts came up, said coach Rick McKinnon.

Half of the team will be in either Mexico or Europe at the time of the provincials and so it just wasn’t possible to make.

They played Grand Forks Tuesday and despite a well-fought battle by the Boundary team, the Rossland girls tired them out by the third quarter, winning 73-51.

McKinnon attributes the team’s success to their long history together, since the four seniors have played on the same team since Grade 8.

“We’re just a run and gun team and no team can run with us,” he said. “They can run, they can shoot and they’re not afraid to shoot from wherever they are. They will put up between 70 and 100 shots a game.”

McKinnon said the team enjoys getting the ball down the court as fast as possible and taking a shot. They’re also a good three-point shooting team.

“We haven’t come up against a team that can shoot three-pointers like they can,” he said. “We must average between 10 and 12 three-pointers per game, that’s 30 points right there.”

The team likes to run presses and run in general.

“That’s how they get involved, and usually by half time the pressure is off,” he said.

The team made it as high as ninth in the Province for single A teams, which McKinnon puts in perspective by saying that if they discount the private schools, which have the ability to scout players, they were third out of public schools.

Mackay agreed with her coaches analysis.

“Rick’s been our coach since Grade 8, so we’ve kind of been building up until now,” she said, that build-up will manifest this weekend as they go to playoffs in Fernie.

The team is a bit  disappointed this will be the end of the basketball season though.

“It kind of feels like our season was cut short,” Heather Thomas, also in her senior year, said. “We’re very confident that we would’ve made it though. We’ve already played all the teams and we’ve beat them all multiple times.”

The other two seniors on the team are Jessica Britton and Taylor McKinnon.

Soccer season starts right after spring break and most of the basketball team is a part of that.

“The week after spring break when we come back, we’re off to a tournament already,” Mackay said, adding that they definitely won’t miss the soccer provincials.