The Delta Pacers have found their comfort zone in the ever-challenging landscape of B.C. high school girls basketball.
The Pacers were easily the most impressive team on the night during last Friday’s annual rivalry doubleheader — cruising to a 90-47 win over the host South Delta Sun Devils. It was a performance that might have had some in the stands wondering what is this team doing competing at the tier two level this season?
Head coach Kerrie Trotman only has to point to last year’s tier one standings. That’s when the Pacers jumped into the Fraser Valley “deep end” and went winless, losing by an average of 29 points in eight games.
“It’s just too hard. All the (tier one teams) are playing club now as well. With these girls being so multi-sport, we can’t compete in tier one unfortunately. It doesn’t matter what kind of athletic ability you have if you are not going all-year round which a lot of the tier one schools are doing.”
Trotman has enjoyed plenty of success with her current Grade 12 core that includes UBC bound softball players Olivia Malesku and Hanna Hansen.
They even appeared in the provincial junior rankings two years ago. However, the senior level presents a much different dynamic, featuring the “best of the best” of all ages.
Case in point is current No. 1 AAA ranked Semiahmoo. The Totems’ roster is mainly Grade 10 players who have been working with former national team coach Allison McNeill since the elementary school level.
Richmond’s top team and honourable mention McMath includes two Grade 8s among their top six players.
Trotman was reminded again at the recent Britannia Invitational in Vancouver where her team dropped a 77-22 decision to the host Bruins — currently No. 5 in the 2A rankings. The Pacers went on to finish fourth with wins over McNair (64-42) and Burnaby North (62-54).
“Their coach told me most of his girls started playing together in Grade 4,” she said.
The Pacers dropping to the tier two ranks has been a growing trend among teams in the Fraser Valley.
Currently 17 compete at the tier one level while 24 are in tier two including all three Delta schools at the 3A level.
Delta takes a 6-2 record into the final week of league play with both losses coming to the unbeaten Seaquam Seahawks, including a 56-48 setback last Thursday in Ladner.
A Fraser Valley tier two playoff tournament will conclude the season.
“Having been with most of the girls since Grade 8, we are like family,” added Trotman, who took her team to Hawaii in December and plans on staying at the senior ranks for the next couple of seasons. “They are having fun and I’m getting the opportunity to play everyone.
“And kudos to all the girls teams at DSS right now. I’m excited about the next five years. We have a wonderful crew coming through right now.”