SG Basketball @ MIST: Every Play Matters

SC 43 – SHSH 17

It was definitely a turkey-n-gravy start to the Montreal Independent Schools Tournament, as you could tell we’d been off for a month. Dribbling, catching, finishing inside, even moving – we were bad at all of it. And more concerning, we looked like we’d never played our defence before, as the Sacred Heart School of Halifax consistently found holes in our zone and created good shots. But with 4 minutes left in the first half we got our legs under us, finished the half on a 6-0 run, and then outscored the Saints 23-7 in the second half to pull away. Highlights from the game include Rina cleverly finding Alyssa and Alex down low for easy buckets, Mackenzy and Chloe blocking 8 shots between the two of them, and Player Of The GameTM Emily “Lebron” Willis who scored 13 pts on only 8 shots, including 3 of 4 from deep and a buzzer-beating baseline jumper from almost behind the backboard. I guess she figured out how to extend her range!

 

SC 38 – St-George’s 9

When Kenz won the opening tip to Chloe who scored after only 3 seconds, you knew the Dragons were outmatched, but definite kudos to them for playing hard until the final whistle. Game highlights for me were Maya playing point guard for the first time (I’ll never forget her expression when we told her) and doing a good job, the Manu offence scoring 3 straight times in 3 different ways, “Lebron” splashing two more threes, and hometown hero M.K. Koketso ripping down a game-high 8 rebounds.

 

SC 36 – Villa Maria 16

We hit our stride on defence in this one, as we started the game on a 14-0 run. Despite their best efforts, the Lynx could not create good shots, not inside and not outside. Rosie and Maya in particular had strong defensive games, not only in the halfcourt but in defensive transition as well. Highlights for me included the team shooting over 70% from the free-throw line, and M.K.’s hi-lo assist to Alex for a sweet two points.

 

Quarter-final: SC 45 – ECS 21

It’s never easy against the Beavers, and when the score stood 6-6 after the first 5 minutes it looked like it could be another no-holds-barred knock-down-drag-em-out affair, like we seem to play every year. But two things kept that from happening. First of all, Rina’s decision-making at point guard reached an elite level; she was like Chris Paul out there directing traffic and putting her teammates in position to score time and time again. Secondly, we changed our defence and put Player Of The GameTM Mackenzy St-Pierre man-to-man on their superstar #24. I’m starting to think it may be unfair when we do that to other players, that’s how much of a ridiculous shutdown defender Kenz has become. Case in point, before we Unleashed The Kenz, #24 scored 7 first-quarter points. After The Unleashing, #24 scored zero points. Nada. Heck, I don’t even know if Kenz allowed her to take a shot. You see what I mean about feeling a little bad about it?… No, you don’t feel bad?… okay, I’ll get over it.

 

Semi-final: SC 50 – LCC 27

The Lions are an athletic, well-coached team who like to press, so this one was a track meet from start to finish. And you know who likes track meets? Rina and Kenz. After a scare in the first quarter where we lost Chloe to a knee injury, Rina and Kenz took turns breaking down the LCC full-court pressure and creating layups for either themselves or Alyssa (11 pts) and Alex (6 pts) down near the basket. In the end Rina finished with 10 pts on only 8 shots, and Kenz stuffed the statsheet with 19 pts, 14 rebs(!), and 5 blocks. But everyone contributed to this game – due to the fast pace we had to substitute a lot – and the bench players, in particular Rosie Ladouceur, had a huge effect in this one.

 

Final: SC 36 – Mtl Bluehounds 33

I think I am more proud of this game than any other game this season, even the CAIS Finals vs Ashbury. And here’s why. The Bluehounds are a better team than us. Club basketball players, with elite athleticism. For one of the rare times this season we were the underdogs going in, as our opponents had scored over 60 points in their last two games, running time. That, my friends, is seriously impressive. So how did we win? Because your Spartans, up against it, treated every play, from the opening tip, like it was the most important play of the game. And the Bluehounds did not. That’s it. That’s the reason. Our uber-talented opponents confidently coasted through the first half playing at ¾ speed, which allowed us to forge an 18-7 halftime lead built on grit, opportunism, amazing support from our bench, and desperate defence. Kenz and Chloe (back from her injury – phew!) were absolute beasts on the boards (17 between them for the game), Rina was at her decision-making best, Alyssa confidently finished Rina’s sublime passes, Emily and Chloe each drained a triple, and the team defence was phenomenal. Think about it: we allowed 7 pts to a team that had scored 69 pts the game before – now that’s a lockdown!

But the Bluehounds coach obviously had a few choice words for his team at halftime, because they came out flying. They crashed the boards like demons, seemingly flying over us for rebounds, and blocked our shots time and again. They started making outside shots. And most impressively, they challenged every pass, every dribble, every attempt at offence. We could barely get a good shot off for the entire second half, but when we did get our chance, we took it. Rina squirmed inside for a hoop, Kenz gutted out baskets inside, Chloe hit a runner and Emily lebronned two more threes. But that was it. And the Bluehounds just kept inching closer. 28-17… 28-23… the pro-Montreal crowd going nuts… 30-25… 33-31… 30 seconds left…and finally a HEE-YUGE three by Emily and a clutch defensive rebound by Chloe and the buzzer finally went. What a win! I tellya, if that game goes 5 minutes longer, we lose, that’s how tough it was to do anything against our opponents in that second half. But games are about more than second halves. Every play matters. Every play in the first quarter means as much as the plays in the fourth quarter. And that’s the only reason we pulled this out. Because we outworked our opponents early, and just enough to overcome the gap in talent. And in my opinion, there is NO better way, no better reason, to win a basketball game.

Be proud, ladies. Against a superior opponent in a hostile environment, you gave yourself a chance through effort, positivity, and supporting each other. You fully deserve that Championship Banner!

– Coaches Van Dyke & Wolfe

The year so far….
Overall Record17 wins 4 losses
RSEQ League Play: 
3 wins  2 losses
ETIAC League Play: 
1 win  0 losses
Points for per game
43.5     Points allowed per game27.2
C.A.I.S. Silver Medalists
Stanstead Invitational Tournament CHAMPIONS
M.I.S. Tournament CHAMPIONS

 

 

Athlete of the Week: Amanda De Grâce

Amanda is a natural leader who inspires her swimming teammates to raise their own levels of competition. She is an inspiration, a spirit booster and a true Spartan who consistently demonstrates discipline and initiative. And in the pool, nothing is too much for her. Where some may compete in three or four races, this athlete not only enters all seven of the possible races, but in her last competition she placed first in every single heat. Always going above and beyond, she was recently named the official captain of her team. Congratulations!

Honourable Mentions

Gage Larkin from Senior Boys Basketball for his leadership and grit at the Tournoi des Volontaires.

Rina Takahashi from Senior Girls Basketball for her all-star performance at the Montreal Independent Schools Tournament.

Slow but steady do not win the race

Stanstead 43 vs Richmond 44

Your senior boys basketball team took to the floor Monday as the second half of the season got under way. We travelled to Richmond Regional to take on the Knights in what proved to be an exciting and closely contested matchup. It would appear that the month-long layoff found us a bit sluggish and not really ready to compete at our highest level. However, our slow start on this day may not have been solely a result of the long layoff, as this is something that has plagued us for most of the season. After establishing the need to come out with a bang and not a whimper, we proceeded to give up 16 points in the first eight minutes of play, twice our previously established goal of eight.

An uphill battle from the start, things just never seemed to go our way. Not only did we struggle on the defensive end, but we missed a great deal of shots from in close that on most other days would have gone in. We battled hard for most of the game, but could never really get over that hump. In fact, I am not sure we ever held the lead in this game! We battled back from a 9-point deficit in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 43 with under a minute left to play. I will spare you my account of this final minute as I have a feeling it is only going to sound like sour grapes. As the final buzzer sounded we found ourselves on the short side of a 1-point game. That’s the bad news. The good news is that we have an opportunity to redeem ourselves on Friday as we face off against the Knights from Richmond once again in the first round of the BCS Invitational Tournament.

The Player of the Game was Alexis Bernier. Alexis paced our team today in both points and assists and was a true leader on and off the floor. Alexis shot 41% from the field on his way to a 21-point performance. His efforts and results in this area were important on a day where we struggled to find a scoring punch. Honorable mention goes to Toby Zhang. Toby chipped in with 4 points and 4 rebounds. Most impressive for Toby on this day was his ability to get open jump shots within the context of our offence.

– Coach Liverpool

ETIAC Record: 1-0    
RESQ Record: 2-3      
Tournament Record: 2-3         
Overall: 5-6

Choices, Opportunities and Failure

By Quentin B.
Grade 11

Fear has two meanings: forget everything and run, or face everything and rise. The choice is yours. I made mine last year when I decided to come to Stanstead College, and interestingly enough I wasn’t convinced that this school could have brought so much amazement to my life.

Stanstead College is a place where teachers aim for student success and persevere to bring the most out of each of us. Along with athletic commitments and extracurricular activities, Stanstead is an amazing school or even, shall I say, family. Coming from tons of different countries all around the world, every student has a different story to tell and can bring very interesting values to the school. Today I am going to discuss some pieces of wisdom brought to me over the last few years but mostly through my Stanstead experience.

 

Learn how to make good, productive choices that are capable of bringing you a favorable outcome

Last year I made the difficult choice of coming to Stanstead College, but I felt that this choice would bring me the best outcome, having seen the place and talked with both students and teachers. As I arrived on my first days of school, I will never forget this notion that a teacher expressed to the class promoting this truly fantastic idea that teachers want your success and are not looking to fail or despise anybody. And Although you are free to ignore or be careless, you might not reach as high as others who are seizing all their opportunities, making good choices by turning most habits into productive ones, organizing themselves in order to maximize their outcome.

Never fearing asking teachers questions, no matter what the motive. The only fools in the room would be those who are not asking questions, staying in their ignorance and not trying hard enough.

 

Take opportunities

Taking opportunities is key to enhancing your life, but it all starts with changing habits and making good use of your tools. Two years ago, I started realizing the amazing gift that everybody in this room uses every day and takes for granted: the Internet, an interesting invention providing an incredible amount of information. Back then I saw it more as entertainment and a fun platform to use, but as I evolved I started realizing that it was seriously fascinating, and as soon as I realized that I was part of this lucky 3 billion people with Internet access, I knew I had to stop wasting my time, because they were and are still 4 billion people behind me who would do anything just to have a chance to use it for better purposes. Also, it is quite easy to use and isn’t boring like some of the books people had to read back in the dinosaur age…the 20th century! But It is also great in the way that you can find anything at any time and most importantly learn incredible stuff from impressive people, making it an amazing tool, that can provide you more knowledge than anything else.

Stanstead doesn’t give you lots of free time, and that’s great because it means less time on Netflix and more time to keep your mind on track. But when we do have some free time, what do we do? Play video games, wander on social medias, looking at comments and comparing likes with your followers. Or maybe you are among the very few who pick a book and learn new stuff, constantly feeding your mind, or maybe you are with your friends or at the gym.

All of these profiles give you a pretty general view of teenagers in our society, and although some are worse than others, I won’t say what is wrong to do and what you should do instead, because I might not have the answer, but what I know is that 10 years from now you will be looking at your youth and thinking about what you were doing and thinking how much more you could have done and where it could have brought you instead. So think about it today. And look at the different ways you might miss opportunities and how you could turn those bad habits into productive ones. But what is also good to understand is that the more efficiently you use your time the more quickly you will improve and achieve more.

On a more personal note I would encourage everybody to quickly learn some code skills because society isn’t going to wait for you and won’t have any fear of leaving you behind. Furthermore, artificial Intelligence is coming at a fast pace and you might as well be able to understand it if you are looking for a decent job. And you might think that I am silly to talk about artificial intelligence taking your future jobs as a high school student in 2018, but sometimes things are obvious and it is predicted that AI will make as big an impact in our society as electricity did in the past century.

School in general is an amazing opportunity for us to learn interesting information, discover new topics and get to socialize a bit, but most importantly it teaches you how to learn things. Additionally, you should train yourself as much as you can. Always trying to improve and doing things alone will make you learn faster than you think. Train your learning skills well, because university is next door!

 

Think about how lucky you all are

Think how fortunate you are to attend high school with top teachers and coaches. Remind yourself every day is that approximately 70% of the world’s population live with less than $10 a day, taking for account that we are most of the time eating lunch for more than $10. Hence, we might start with greater chances than those unfortunate lives but interestingly it all depends on your motivation and eagerness to persevere. By often taking into account the chances that you are offered, you have a higher probability of making good choices and seizing your opportunities.

 

Don’t fear failure

Failure is expected. You learn from each failure to bring you higher than you were. See each defeat as a stepping stone. As someone quite admired in our society, Henry Ford, is known to have said, “Failure is simply the opportunity for you to begin again, this time more intelligently.” If you don’t fail, you’re not trying hard, and that is not acceptable. Most of the elite have fallen more than once. I can assure you that Elon Musk would never be where he is now if he had never failed. He was eager to innovate and make the world a better place. He is known for having once been the worst CEO ever, back when he was at Paypal, and he has also blown up quite a few of his falcon rockets and failed to bring the first Tesla to the marketplace before becoming one of the most incredible entrepreneurs the world has ever known. Here is a video he posted a few months ago showing off the great failures that brought him success:

As you can see, success often comes with failures.

As TED speaker Tim Ferris said, “The hard choices, what we most fear doing, asking, saying, these are very often exactly what we most need to do.” Facing your fears and embracing your failures will surely, make you rise.

I hope I convinced you to take any opportunities that the world has to offer you, to make choices that push your limits and to realize the gifts life has given you. Happy 2018!

 

 

Athlete of the Week: Emily Willis

It is not easy for a player to make the jump from junior basketball to senior basketball, especially when the senior team plays against the toughest competition in the area in RSEQ’s Division 2 league.

But that is just what Emily Willis has done this year – she’s made it look easy! Despite not being the tallest or fastest player on the court, her work ethic, her outside shooting, her focus, her uncanny ability to finish contested layups in traffic, her coachability, her vision and most of all her exceptionally high basketball IQ have made her so integral to so many things that we do that it is becoming more and more difficult to take her off the court.

And nowhere were these impressive qualities on display more than this past week, when the senior girls basketball team embarked on their roughest stretch of the season, i.e. four road games in eight days. She was easily our most consistent outside shooter; she was our best guard at running out in transition; she was effective and smart defensively, digging down from her guard position and fighting for rebounds; she showed her no-nonsense toughness when she played through sickness early in the week; and as mentioned above, she willed the ball into the basket on so many contested breakaway layups that her coaches have stopped being amazed at how she does it. (Not true — still amazed!).

Emily’s seamless transition to the level and pace of Senior Basketball is one of the reasons why her team has experienced as much success as it has so far this season. She is a perfect teammate who coolly, calmly and consistently gives her best every practice and every game.

Congratulations, Emily!

Honourable Mention: Gage Larkin from Senior Boys Basketball, whose ceaseless effort, rebounding and willingness to do the dirty work made him the best player on the floor, for both teams, the past two RSEQ league games.

SG Basketball: Friday Night Lights? Pitch Perfect!

Well, we made it :).

Your “Road Warriors” finished off their 4-away-games-in-8-days stretch this past Friday night, travelling all the way to Victoriaville to take on Tandem-Boise.

Although the girls had every reason to be sluggish after such a rough week, I’ve gotta hand it to them – they came out ready to play. Rina Takahashi was at her Tasmanian Devil best, slicing through Tandem’s press and setting her teammates up for easy baskets. Mackenzy St-Pierre was in full attack mode. And Emily Willis, who worked all last practice to extend her range, was all smiles after nailing a long-distance triple. In fact, when Rina stepped into a three off a nice feed from Kenz to make it 16-9 just a minute into the second quarter, all looked good.

But Tandem would not go away so easily. They changed up their defence and started finding hi-lo success against our zone. Add in a little foul trouble for Rina, and when the halftime buzzer sounded we had given up an 8-0 run to end the half down 17-16.

But we made our own adjustments at halftime, and thanks to timely finishing down low from Alex Smith and Alyssa MacPherson and all-round excellent play from Chloe Van Dyke and Mackenzy (including defensively, I mean they gave up NOTHING on their side of the defence), the Spartans exploded for 17 points in the third quarter and then followed that up with a 10-0 run to start the fourth, effectively icing the game. 45-30 final score, a 3-game RSEQ win streak, and a satisfying end to the first half of the season.

Although years from now it may seem like Just A Dream, win or lose I would never change a thing about this team; I like you Just The Way You Are. 🙂

– Coaches Van Dyke & Wolfe

The year so far
Overall Record11 wins 4 losses
RSEQ League Play: 
3 wins  2 losses
ETIAC League Play: 
1 win  0 losses
Points for per game
43.5     Points allowed per game30.9
CAIS Silver Medalists
Stanstead Invitational Tournament CHAMPIONS