The Forks JH girls AAU basketball finished their season with a 2nd place victory at the Spring Hoopfest Tournament held in Port Angeles. The girls started out the tournament facing an experienced team called PA threat. “I could tell this team has been playing a lot of basketball together just by the way they were warming up,” said coach Brad Carstensen. “Forks jumped out to an early lead, but PA Threat just wouldn’t go away!” The Forks girls managed to find ways to minimize mistakes and capitalize on defense: FINAL PA threat 26 Forks 34.
Forks finished day one with a familiar competitor in PA Apex. Forks jumped out to an early lead and comfortably ended the half 24-8. This game eventually finished with a score of Apex 28, Forks 49.
Day two of the tournament started with an early morning game with Sequim. “So many times in the past we as a team have had a strong finish to day one and weak finish on day two. Coach Johnson and I worked tirelessly wondering how we can get over this hump of having a great start and an undesired finish.”
With a halftime lead of 10, Forks was still uncomfortable. “The speed this Sequim team displayed, I knew they could score quickly and we couldn’t let up. I made the decision that our post play would have to get more attention on offense. Those post came through for us that game and paved the way to the championship game beating Sequim for the first time this year 44-26”.
The Championship game finished with Ferndale. Both teams undefeated this weekend going into this contest, many people looked forward to seeing this matchup. A back and forth battle in the first half, Forks found themselves in foul trouble early, at one point the foul ratio was 10-1.
“We had to change our tactics, slow things down, it’s hard to play the entire court and not be aggressive due to our foul situation. This has been our strength all season and we relied on pressure to get us turnovers eventually leading to points.”
Despite foul trouble, Forks had a halftime lead 14-11. This low scoring contest meant every point on the board mattered. Forks came out of the half and quickly found themselves in foul trouble again. “It really took the wind out of our sails when Kadie Wood fouled out”.
The rest of the team fought hard to the finish, never giving up. As time expired, Ferndale walked away the champions with a 31-24 victory over the Spartans.
“This group of girls has been an honor to coach! The parent support really has been one of the keys to our success. A huge thank you to the Assembly of God Church for all the time they allowed us to spend there preparing for these tournaments.”
Last but not least thanks to Willie Johnson, without him, these last 2 AAU seasons don’t happen. His passion for success at a high level is contributing to the success these girls will face in adulthood. Come support your local sports team! They are the future of our community and a lot of fun to watch!