Venice Dayrit was in the Duckworth Centre stands when she got all the inspiration she needed.

Watching her older brother, Don, lead the Winnipeg Wesmen men's basketball team, her mom told her of a day years earlier when Don called his shot.

"I'm going to play here one day," Venice recalled her brother saying. "That inspired me to let her know I also want to play U Sports."

She is making that leap, and doing it with one of her best friends and Sisler Spartans teammate Caytah Vargas. The duo committed to the Brandon University Bobcats for the 2024-25 Canada West season.

"It was such a relieving process, knowing that I'm finally committed and with being so close to home, it's a really big advantage for me," Vargas said.

"Having such a good connection with coach Jaime (Taggart) is one of the reasons I decided to commit to BU."

Vargas also drew inspiration from her family as her big sister Caireh played for Sisler and was always a few steps ahead.

"Watching her growing up and always going to her games was one of the main reasons I wanted to keep playing because I was so competitive with her and wanted to be better," Vargas said.

The talented tandem led the Spartans to a 60-41 win over the Crocus Plainsmen to keep their season alive at AAAA provincials on Thursday. They meet the No. 4 seed Daniel McIntyre Maroons today in the quarterfinals.

They bring contrasting styles to the backcourt. Vargas, at five-foot-five, likes to shoot the long ball and drives primarily to dish to open teammates.

Dayrit, while just five-foot-three, feels comfortable getting in the paint and is trying to extend her range to succeed at the next level.

As part of a historically smaller team at Sisler, Vargas and Dayrit are used to the challenge they'll face at BU as an undersized lineup.

"We use the fact we're smaller as a mental thing to push back and let them know, 'Just because we're smaller doesn't mean you can push us around.'" Dayrit said. "We use our height difference to motivate ourselves to let people know it is heart over height."


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