Girls basketball strong with Spirit in Strathroy

By K. Minten

The Strathroy Spirit basketball club hosted an invitational girls U19/U14 tournament at SDCI on Saturday, February 9th, drawing teams from across SW Ontario for an exciting day of skills and determination.

The U19 girls tipped off their first game at 10:30am and put on quite a show for the fans, pulling out a solid 55-28 win over the Cambridge Centaurs. Game high-scorer, Morgan Tamminga (14 pts), helped establish a strong lead, putting 12 points on the board in the first quarter, which closed at 19-8. Great shooting by Megan Cocksworth (9 pts) and Maia Natvik (8 pts), along with a shared group effort by the Spirit team maintained a comfortable lead against the aggressive Centaurs. Coach Tim Earley was proud of the joint effort on the court: “All players contributed on both ends of the floor, and continue to showcase their team first play.”

Game two versus the experienced London 86ers began at 4:30pm, and proved to be the highlight of the day. The teams went point for point for the first two quarters, ending the half with a one-point Spirit lead, 24-23. But when Spirit hit the floor after the break the 86ers just couldn’t hold on, as the hometown crew consistently hit their mark and pulled away with 26 points in the 3rd quarter. Micah Tamminga scored 11 of those 26, and led the team with 23 points. A great team effort was rounded out by Morgan Tamminga (17 pts) and Maia Natvik (12 pts), and solid offensive and defensive boarding across the bench. The exciting finish for the tournament champs puts their season record at 8-2. Their next game is February 23rd against the Oxford Attack in Woodstock.

The U14 crew played the first game of the day at 9am versus the St. Thomas Shock. The court play was evenly fought all game, but the baskets just didn’t fall for the Spirit squad and it ended with a 20-50 loss to the Shock. Despite the result, Coach Laura Berkmortel was very positive about the heart and determination of the younger Spirit: “The girls are developing their skills as players, learning that through hard work and dedication comes success both as an individual and a team.” Their second game at 3pm versus a strong Sarnia Valhalla team packed the bleachers with superfans donning blue and gold, and waving signs to show their hometown spirit! Mieka McLinchey was team high scorer with 8 pts, and strong rebounding by McKenna Kehoe, Leyna Minten, and Claire Tamminga kept the team moving. While the girls persevered to the end and kept the 4th quarter to an even 9 points, the strong lead Valhalla took in the 3rd quarter resulted in a 47-21 loss. Assistant Coach Cassie Tamminga was proud of the strong finish: “It was a great day for girls in sport - the competition was strong, there was lots of learning, great sportsmanship and amazing community support.” The next home game is March 1st at 7pm in the SDCI gyms.

The Strathroy Spirit Basketball club has been a member of the OBA basketball community since 1992, operating with the support of the Strathroy Caradoc Recreation Department. The club seeks to increase participation and skill levels for girls in Strathroy and the surrounding areas while encouraging a healthy lifestyle and positive participation in team sport.  The games and tournaments are events open to the public and are free to attend.

For more information about the club email Coach Tim Earley at or go to for photos, schedules, and a club overview.

Wanna join the team?

Develop your skills by signing up for the 8-week House League program beginning September 11th. 

Still want more? 

Try outs for the 2019-2020 Spirit teams are held in November!