Submitted by Orcas Christian School.
Grades eight through 12 at Orcas Christian School returned Sunday, Jan. 27 from a four-day trip to Walla Walla University.
While the basketball teams attending the Friendship Tournament was a driving force behind the trip, its purpose was also academic. Students heard lectures from professors about engineering and classical music, were given tours of various labs, slept in the college dorms and ate in the dining halls.
The girls’ team, after defeating Cascade Christian in the first round by 2 points, took a tough blow when they lost their starting center, Tori Plunkett, to an ankle injury in the first minutes of their second game.
With a short bench before the injury, the remaining ladies had to carry on and certainly made her proud with their hustle and determination. The girls came in fourth place and the Saints’ only senior basketball player, Katie Kemmerer, was named to the girls’ All-Tournament Team.
In their first and second games of the tournament, the boys’ team out-scored their opponents by a combined total of 51 points. Both were dominating performances where the Saints showcased their teamwork and stamina.
The game against Cascade Christian that decided the championship was a hard-fought battle, coming down to the final seconds of the game. The Saints came away with a second-place finish and junior Corey Aragon was named to the boys’ All-Tournament Team.
“This was, by far, my favorite year at the tournament yet,” said Dave Blisard, athletic director and coach of the Lady Saints. “The competition was evenly matched, the sportsmanship was phenomenal and our students represented our school with pride.”
When asked about their favorite part of the trip, OCS students had a variety of responses, ranging from the food to new friends from the basketball games to the camaraderie and sportsmanship.