The St. Francis Grades 6-7 girls' basketball team served notice this year they are among the province's elite at the junior high level, finishing second and third at tournaments hosted by the Newfoundland and Labrador Basketball Association (NLBA).
The Harbour Grace based team first saw action at a tournament in Placentia in January 2011, and has since evolved into one of the most competitive teams in the province, says coach Ed Jarvis.
In March, the St. Francis Lady Crusaders marched into the Grade 8 tournament in Placentia and came away with third place after losing by four points to Holy Cross of St. John's in the cross-over encounter.
Along the way, the Crusaders went undefeated with wins over Roncalli and Brother Rice, and posted an exciting one-point win over Mount Pearl.
Player-of-the-game awards went to Sarah Hiscock, Shelby Oates, Mallory Gillespie and Gina Pynn.
The Crusaders followed that with an appearance at a Grade 9 tourney in Clarenville, entering as the youngest team in the competition.
Despite the age difference, the Lady Crusaders advanced to the final before losing to the Baltimore Grade 9s in the final.
The Crusaders advanced to the championship with round-robin wins over Roncalli, Persalvic and Clarenville, and defeated Beaconsfield Junior High of St. John's in the crossover.
Crusader Sarah Hiscock was named the tournament's most valuable player, while player-of-the-game nods for the Crusaders went to Hiscock, Michaela Case, Emily Kennedy and Mallory Gillespie.
The Crusaders finished the year with 25 wins and 10 losses.