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Niverville Varsity Boys Were on Winning Track

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The AA boys basketball team at Niverville High School. Richard Toews

With the basketball season cut short, players and coaches from Niverville High School are looking back at what might have been.

According to coach Richard Toews, the AA boys team was especially strong. At the time of the season being called out, they were ranked first place and one week away from appearing at Provincials.

“We were looking to compete and had the chance to win our third provincials in a row,” Toews says. “We won four of five tournaments, won the Zone 13 league and playoffs, and were also on a 13-game winning streak.”

He says that so many different players contributed to the team’s overall success in key ways.

“All players of our team worked hard this year and tried to focus on the next play as the most important one. Each player played in such a way as to make their teammate better… We played at a high, intense pace, pressing the other team and trapping when possible. This style made it challenging for the other team’s offence to score. Our defence was our strength. Offensively, we had great scoring distribution, with numerous players putting up ten or more points in a game this season.”

Recently, it was announced that two Grade 12 players, Dylan Peters and Jackson Loepp, were selected to the Manitoba Graduating All-Star basketball team.

“I had the privilege of coaching them both for the past two years,” says Toews. “They both put in hard work and improved a lot throughout the two-year period. They both did what was asked of them for the success of the team. Jackson adopted a role in the paint, playing close to the basket, to help with floor spacing. He was an offensive rebounding machine. Dylan improved his shot selection and drove aggressively to the hoop. He played with very active hands in our defensive press and benefitted by getting numerous steals and transition buckets. Both players were leaders on the team by their example and demeanour contributing to our team success this year.”

Toews also wants to single out the team’s second coach, Parker Davis, who also helped challenge the team, demonstrating firsthand the value of a hard work ethic.

“Without [the team’s] selflessness, we would not have had the team success or individual recognition that we were blessed with,” he adds. “I am truly grateful to the whole team for providing me with another great coaching experience.”

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