By John DeCoste
Fans of high school basketball will get their latest chance to watch the Horton D-1 girls’ team when it hosts an invitational tournament this weekend in Greenwich.
The Horton girls haven’t played at home since hosting their Tip-Off tournament last month.
Halifax West, C.P. Allen, CEC, Auburn Drive and Memorial from Cape Breton join the host Griffins in what Horton head coach Jennifer Veinot expects will be “a top-level tournament with lots of great competition.”
So far this season, Horton has been “competitive” in four different tournaments – their own Tip-Off, followed by tournaments at Halifax Grammar School, Colonel Grey in Charlottetown and most recently, the Moncton Hoops Classic.
“We’ve had a challenging start to the season due to some injuries to key players, but we’re starting to round into form,” Veinot said.
Grade 12 starter Candace Smith, who recently committed to UPEI, and Grade 11 starter Graysen Parker have both missed time due to injuries – Parker sat out five weeks with an ankle injury, while Smith was out three weeks.
“We played the Halifax Grammar tournament without both Candace and Graysen,” Veinot said, “which was a bad thing in the short-term, but could be a good thing in the long-term, as other players have had to step up and gain valuable experience.”
Smith and Grade 11 starter Lauren Jodrey have both stepped up their play significantly.
“We’re also looking for good things from Graysen once she gets completely healthy,” Veinot added.
Horton had 11 of 12 players available for the Moncton tournament, which allowed them to start to getting into their expected roles. The Griffins “had a good tournament,” Veinot said, finishing fourth out of eight teams in a really competitive field.
“As long as everyone is healthy, we feel we have a lot of potential as a team.”
Jennika Veinot was an all-star in the Halifax Grammar tournament, Smith was an all-star at Colonel Grey, and both Smith and Jodrey were all-stars in Moncton.
“All three of those girls, plus Scarlett Smith, have all been players of the game for us,” she said.
Veinot is looking for another good test this weekend.
“We haven’t seen Halifax West or Auburn. In fact, we haven’t played any of the teams that are coming, except for a short scrimmage with C.P. Allen. I’m hearing Memorial is supposed to be very good.”
The tournament schedule sees Horton and Halifax West meet at 2:30 p.m. Friday, followed by C.P. Allen and CEC at 4:20 p.m., Horton and Auburn Drive at 6:10 p.m. and C.P. Allen and Memorial at 8 p.m.
On Dec. 15, Memorial and CEC will meet at 9 a.m., followed by Auburn and Halifax West at 11 a.m. The fifth place game is set for 1:30 p.m., the third place game at 3:30 p.m. and the championship at 5:30 p.m.