NEW GLASGOW — The Pictou County Basketball Association is bracing for another provincial championship.
The association is hosting Basketball Nova Scotia’s Under-14 provincials March 24 to 26 with an eye on more success this season.
The Lightning are among eight teams on the schedule. They will open against the Cole Harbour rockets on March 24 starting at 7:45 p.m. at Northumberland Regional High School and will meet the Halifax Hurricanes at 10:30 a.m. and the Dartmouth Lakers at 3 p.m. on March 25 at North Nova Education Centre.
Crossover games will be played March 26 at 9 and 10:30 a.m., with the winners advancing to the championship game at 3 p.m. at North Nova.
“Not only are we growing at a pace unheard of in basketball, but we are also improving at an incredible pace,” association president Allan Floyd said. “From one team five years ago, we now have 26 competitive teams, 22 of which are attending provincial competitions this year.”
One of the Lightning’s recent wins came at the Division 7 championship they hosted in Alma. The Lightning coached by Dave Lemmon and Joey Desmond defeated the Shelburne Thrashers 45-44 in the championship game on February 26.
The team opened with a 32-22 victory over the West End Steelers and followed with a 42-11 win over the Mainland Express, a 42-39 win over Shelburne and a 53-32 victory over the Sackville Storm.
The group will host two other provincials the following weekend.
The Division 3 U-16 girls will contest their championship on March 31 and April and 2 at NRHS.
The Lightning will play at 7:45 p.m. on March 31 and at 12:30 and 4 p.m. on April 1. The crossovers are at 9 and 10:30 a.m. on April 2 with the winners contesting the championship at 3 p.m.
The Lightning will host the U-18 girls Division AA championship the same weekend at North Nova and New Glasgow Academy.
Floyd said the association has come to the point where it’s trying to secure a venue it can convert into a basketball facility.
Coach Joe Desmond and Dave Lemmon celebrate the Lightning’s recent basketball win with Jayden Tibbo-Desmond at a provincial championship in Alma. The Lightning will host an Under-14 championship later this month. (Goodwin photo)