A 15-year-old basketballer from Cranbrook took her place on the national stage earlier this month, taking part in the U15 National Championships in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Bobby-Jo Colburn played forward on Team BC, comprised of girls from all over the province. And when the dust had settled, Team BC came out of the tournament fifth overall.
Team BC split their pool games, cruising to opening 64-42 victory over Manitoba on Monday, August 5, but came up against a tough Ontario squad the next day, losing 59-38 (Ontario went on to win gold in the tournament). In the opening playoff game on Thursday, August 8, B.C. took on Saskatchewan, who won 63-53.
“We should have won that game,” Colburn said. “We didn’t play very well. And one of our best players hurt herself in the second game (against Ontario). She tore her ACL. It made it tougher for us to win — but we still should have won.”
Team BC rallied after that loss, defeating New Brunswick 81-33 on Friday, August 9, and then Prince Edward Island on the Saturday, resulting in a fifth-place overall finish.
“Since we lost that game, going into the playoffs, it was our goal that we should try to finish in the higher rankings,” Colburn said.
The Cranbrookian forward herself had a stellar tournament, finishing in the top 10 for several offensive categories (after the five rounds), including two-pointer percentage (tied for first), two-pointers made (seventh), three-pointers made (fourth), three-pointer percentage (tied for first), match points (tied for ninth), field goals made (tied for seventh) and field goal percentage (tied for first). Colburn was thus selected for the tournament’s second all-star team.
Team BC was put together together towards the end of June, giving the girls just over a month to bond, what with practices and a couple of tournaments before the nationals. Colburn said she made lots of friends over the short season, and of course the trip down east was a good adventure.
“It was really fun,” Colburn said. “Newfoundland is a very pretty place. We went down to the ocean a couple of times.”
Team BC stayed in the dormitory of the Memorial University of Newfoundland — a little on the spartan side, Colburn indicated, but it was still fun.
The top four teams at the championships ended up being Ontario (Gold), Quebec (Silver), Nova Scotia (Bronze) and Saskatchewan (fourth).
The U15 Boys championships were also held in St. John’s at the same time. Again, Ontario finished in the Gold Medal spot, Quebec Silver, Manitoba Bronze and Alberta in fourth. Team BC finished in seventh place in that tournament.