The NACI Tigers junior varsity squad wasn’t able to overcome the injury bug at a strong senior varsity tournament in Elton the weekend of Feb. 17. The girls started the weekend with a 79-47 win against the tournament’s only other JV team, the Vincent Massey Vikings. Jayme Kulbacki had a double-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds and five steals, while Lina Gordon had 21 points and eight rebounds, and Danielle Hanke added seven steals, seven assists and 17 points. NACI wasn’t able to continue its momentum into the second game though, losing 60-39 to Hamiota’s Varsity squad. The Tigers were led by a 10-point, four-steal effort from Hanke and a 14-point, 10-rebound double-double from Gordon. The Tigers continued to battle, but weren’t able to claim wins in either of their final two games either, losing 64-35 to Grandview Varsity and 63-40 to Elton’s Varsity team. Gordon had 21 points and 12 rebounds over the two games while Kulbacki added 36 points and 16 rebounds. The team played competitively throughout against the older teams despite regulars Chelsea Plett, Halle Hayhurst and Brooke Anderson all missing games due to short-term injuries that reduced the Tigers bench to only seven players - two Grade 10’s and five Grade 9’s - for much of the tournament. The play of those seven girls still impressed their opponents though, coach Kerri Hayhurst noted. “I am very proud of the girls for playing tough,” Hayhurst said. “They did not let the older, more experienced varsity teams intimidate them and our opposition were all amazed at the young age of our team and their talent level.” The Tigers are now gearing up for the Zone 7 junior varsity playoffs with the goal of winning and qualifying to the JV Provincials March 7-9.