Shaylee Rutledge/Special to the Daily Townsman
When our fifth day and final game arrived, it was both exciting and upsetting. We were pumped up and ready to play Prince George and we competed very well against them.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter Coach Nutini told the six graduating girls that they would be playing out the remaining minutes of the game. This was perhaps the last chance some of us would have to play competitive basketball.
Heidi, Brette, Hannah, Marlize, Megan Tadey, and I played that last quarter together as a group. We gave everything we had in our last high school game ever.
Even though our team lost on the scoreboard, we beat the opposing team in effort, grit, and heart.
When the buzzer sounded, ending the game, some tears were shed, but they did not last long. We had to hustle out of the change room after our game as we planned to do a polar bear plunge before returning to watch the final game.
It was pouring rain as we drove to White Rock. We left our jerseys on, took off our shoes and socks, and prepared ourselves for the cold water.
The tide was out so we had to run quite a distance on the beach until we reached the ocean waves.
As a team we joined hands and ran into the freezing water. All of us made it in waist deep, but Marlize took it one step further and ducked all the way under. We ran back to our coach and parents, grabbed our towels, and loaded back in the cars to drive back to the gym.
The final game was close and suspenseful to watch, but the greatest excitement came for us in the closing ceremonies. We received the Most Sportsmanlike Team award and were thrilled.
Our efforts were recognized and the trophy we brought home reflected our team’s ultimate goals, which are to play with heart and also to be great ambassadors for our school and community.
Overall, our experience at the AAA Basketball Provincials was incredible. We enjoyed every moment together as a team on and off the court and are also forever grateful to our amazing coach, Al Nutini. Without him, we would not have grown the way we did over the season.
The memories we made this year will be cherished throughout our lifetimes and we were thankful for the opportunity to represent Mount Baker Secondary School.
Shaylee Rutledge is a member of the Mount Baker Secondary School senior girls basketball team. She documented the trials and tribulations of the Wild during their trip to the provincial championship in Vancouver.