Valleyview's Indigo Learie (left) drives past Claremont's Kamryn Allen on Saturday at the Top 10 Shoot-Out in Coquitlam. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of 2019. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Girls Basketball

Centennial Top 10 Shoot-Out 2020: Valleyview’s road-warrior Vikes show their pluck as Learie leads Kamloops squad past Claremont

COQUITLAM — No amount of snow was going to keep the Valleyview Vikings from their appointed rounds at the 2020 Top 10 Shoot-Out this weekend at Centennial Secondary.

“This has been a hard-grind trip, but you know, life is a hard grind sometimes so we like to teach our girls the life skills of how to sleep well, how to eat well, and how to take care of yourself,” relayed veteran Vikes’ head coach Scott Reeves, the former Thompson Rivers boss whose Kamloops-based Triple A No. 8-ranked Vikes braved the weather and a host of blue-chip Quad-A schools (Semiahmoo, Brookswood, Lord Tweedsmuir) here at the Top 10 before closing out play in the 8th-9th game with a 74-70 win over Victoria’s Quad-A honourable mention Claremont Spartans.

“I am proud that it has been a great group effort,” added Reeves, who previously coached Langley’s Brookswood Bobcats to three straight top-tiered senior B.C. championship titles (2004-06). “There hasn’t been one single player that has won it for us. They might have been a little skeptical  when the weather cropped up, but they said that we need to be here because we need the games and we’re trying to be at our best.”

Outstanding in the win for Valleyview was its 5-foot-6 starting point guard Indigo Learie, who poured home a game-high 25 points.

“Her skill set is coming along,” said Reeves of the Grade 11  Learie. “She is a solid shooter who understands the game and her IQ is really growing. The challenge of being the size she is, is that when you go up against taller players, the passing angles can close down quickly, but she did very well out there.”

Back-court partner McKenna Reeves was also a standout with 18 points, while Mackenzie Pittinger and Jess Orr each added 11 points.

And while the Vikes have built their edge behind a road warrior mentality all season, they just happen to hail from a Triple A Okanagan zone which this season is loaded with talent.

It starts at the top with Kelowna’s No. 1 Okanagan Mission Huskies, and also includes No. 6 Vernon and No. 9 South Kamloops.

“We’ve got four of the top 10 right now,” said Reeves of a zone which currently has one guaranteed berth but the possibility of more through continued strong play by the zone against other Triple A teams.

“I doubt whether all four of us could go, we’re just too small a zone,” continued Reeves. “But I think it’s warranted because the Okanagan has a lot of strength.”

Reese Manns led the Spartans with 19 points, while Charlotte Westhaver added 17.

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