We’ve got reports from all eight games played in the opening round of the B.C. senior girls AAA basketball championship draw, but first a look at Friday’s championship draw:
B.C. GIRLS AAA DRAW
1:45 p.m. — Kelowna vs. Argyle
12 p.m. — Brooskwood vs. Semiahmoo
3:15 p.m. — Abbotsford vs. Sullivan Heights
5 p.m. — Walnut Grove vs. Riverside
ABBOTSFORD 101 NORTH PEACE 43
LANGLEY — The freshly-minted Fraser Valley champs were sluggish to start, but once they hit stride, leaving a 37-3 second-quarter score in their wake, they were never challenged by the Ookapiks.
Four Panthers hit double figures in scoring, led by the 35 points of Sienna Lenz and the 22 of Marin Lenz.
Sydney Fetterly added 14 points and Kelsey Roufosse another 10.
Celine Quigley led the Ookapiks with 10 points.
SULLIVAN HEIGHTS 69 CARSON GRAHAM 64
LANGLEY — The Carson Graham Eagles aren’t the easiest team to contend with when your strategy is to prevent the opposition from grabbing offensive rebounds.
And one quick look at the stats will tell you that Surrey’s Sullivan Heights Stars may not have totally succeeded in that task as the 2018 B.C. senior girls AAA basketball championships continued Wednesday at the Langley Events Centre.
Yet the other school of thought is that the Stars did just enough to win, and when it’s win-or-go-home in the pursuit of a provincial championship, it’s really all that matters.
“We talked about boxing out at the half,” said Sullivan head coach Lani Kramer, whose team would eventually persevere and hold on to claim a 69-64 victory.
“That was the key against them,” she continued. “We had to get defensive rebounds and that was all that was hurting us.”
Nonetheless, ‘just enough’ was the key phrase.
Carson Graham had 19 offensive rebounds on the same glass that Carson procured 21 defensive caroms, and the Eagles had a stunning 22-4 edge in second-half points.
Yet the Stars held them to 32 per cent shooting from the field and they got offensive excellence from not one of the coach’s daughters, but both.
Senior, SFU-bound Emma had 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, while younger sister Sophia Kramer had 20 points, six rebounds and five steals en route to Player of the Game honours.
“We were nervous to start and you could see it,” added coach Kramer of a Sullivan team making its first-ever appearance in the tournament. “But we’re a defensive, stopping team and that is how we win. We won’t always score a lot but the girls work hard and they left it all out on the court for me.”
Post Tanis Metcalfe and guard Gabby Channon each garbbed 17 rebounds for the Eagles, Metcalfe adding 18 points and Channon a dozen.
Chloe Brebner had 14 points and Aly Walker, the point guard, another 12, to go along with nine rebounds and nine assists.
RIVERSIDE 86 CLAREMONT 76
LANGLEY — Riverside Rapids head coach Paul Langford was busy after his team’s victory over Victoria’s Claremont Spartans in the opening round of the B.C. Triple A championships explaining how it was that his team rallied to win.
“If I were you, I would have left, too,” Langford began after his team opened its game trailing 12-2 and later trailed by 14 points with 8:30 left in the fourth quarter.
Of course if you did, you would have missed the Rapids’ game-changing 18-0 run, a streak which seemed to come out of nowhere and turn a 70-58 deficit into a 76-70 lead en route to an 86-76 victory.
Yet ask Langford to explain how incredible it was from his vantage point, and he instead calls it a microcsom of Riverside’s entire campaign.
“Our season has been like that,” he began. “No respect to MEI. They are a very good team. But they’re an unranked team. We almost lose to them, and then the next night, we come right back and almost beat (Fraser Valley champion) Abbotsford.”
What made the difference?
“All our kids were good, but I would say the motor of Alanya (Davignon), plus (Jessica) Parker showed some great desire and Sammy (Shields) made a huge steal and hoop. I think it was a collective of all five of our starters.”
Parker finished with 30 points and eight assists, Shields had 19 points, Tessa Burton 14, Adrienne Willems had 10 and Davignon nine points and seven rebounds.
The Rapids had a 52-20 edge in paint points and a 39-19 edge in points-off-turnovers.
Chloe Scaber led four Spartans in double figures with 21 points. Marin Abe had 13, Sierra Reisig 12 and Maki Jenner 10.
SEMIAHMOO 76 NEW WESTMINSTER 60
LANGLEY — For all of the great things that are being predicted for their future, the early moments of Wednesday’s first-round game for Surrey’s Semiahmoo Totems provided something of a rare look.
The team, filled with a talented cache of Grade 9 players, got their first taste of a B.C. Triple A championship round game, and although it might have only taken a few minutes to get over, their were some anxious early moments.
“I didn’t see too much in that first quarter,” head coach Allison McNeill said of her team’s matchup with the New Westminster Hyacks. “They came out maybe too energized and with that said, they ended up being flat. But by halftime they had all settled in pretty well.”
Well enough that after trailing 28-24 at the half, the Totems went on to post a 76-60 victory and advance into a 12 noon quarterfinal against Langley’s Brookswood Bobcats.
The key, a little Faith and a whole lotta Izzy.
Izzy Forstyth, the 6-foot Grade 9 led the winners with 35 points, while 6-foot-3 Grade 11 forward Faith Dut had 20 points and 14 rebounds.
Sarah Forgie led the Hyacks with 20 points eight assists and eight rebounds while Devin Strome had 19 points and 15 rebounds.
“We’re just proud of the girls,” added McNeill. “Proud to be among the final 16 teams standing, and after today, among the final eight teams standing.”
BROOKSWOOD 85 OAK BAY 80
LANGLEY — Over the past two days, it’s been virtually impossible to ignore Jenna Dick’s talents on the basketball court..
On Tuesday, she was named to Baden’s BCSSGBA provincial Top 15 Dream Team.
And on Wednesday, as the B.C. Triple A championships opened in her hometown at the Langley Events Centre, the Brookswood Bobcats Grade 11 guard was living up to that honour and more.
At the juncture of the game when her team needed her most, the 5-foot-6 guard knocked down a three, drove for a lay-in and made four straight trips to the free throw line.
All of that capping a game-high 26 points outing as the ‘Cats clipped Victoria’s Oak Bay Breakers 85-80.
“This is a win that will really pick us up,” said Dick. “We needed to figure things out today and we did, and so I hope this gets us going again.”
The contrast in her diminutive stature versus the way she grabbed the game by the scruff of its neck?
It was pretty hard to miss.
“For a little person, she has big shoulders, eh?” smiled Brookswood head coach Chris Veale who got his first senior varsity B.C. tourney win in succeeding the legendary Neil Brown in the big chair with the ‘Cats this season.
“When we brought Jenna up last year as a Grade 10 we were looking for bodies,” continued Veale, “and then she blossoms into this player.
“Last year, Lou (Gonzaga freshman Louise Forsyth) took a lot of the focus and that was good for Jenna. But now she is the focus and to think that when she has a bad game, she still scores like 15 points. It’s been pretty crazy.”
Dick came into action Wednesday averaging 25 points and 10 assists per game.
Baden BCSSGBA Super 15 forward Georgia Alexander’s two free throws with 14.7 seconds left had pulled the Breakers to within 82-80, but post Brooklyn Golt hit a free throw and post Karsen Look tipped home the miss of Golt’s second free throw to wrap up the scoring in the final second.
Golt had 17 points and 11 rebounds, Janessa Knapp 16 points and Grade 9 Neyha Lali 13 points.
Alexander led the Breakers with 22 points, Natalie Froese added 18 and Jasmine Lambert 12.
ARGYLE 67 YALE 62
LANGLEY — North Vancouver’s Argyle Pipers played their best basketball as the game clock ticked down, and the result is a berth in Thursday’s Elite 8 quarterfinals.
Baden BCSSGBA Super 15 select Georgia Swant poured home a game-high 28 points and the Pipers, who trailed 36-28 at the half, outscored Abbotsford’s Yale Lions 23-13 in the fourth quarter to claim a 67-62 victory.
The Pipers were a rebounding machine with three double-figure players, including Laura Holt, whose finished with nine points and 10 rebounds, seven of which came off the offensive glass.
Camie Ward added 10 in the win.
Madison Draayers led Yale with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
KELOWNA 87 HERITAGE WOODS 51
LANGLEY — Every team needs to bring its best over the next four days here at the 2018 B.C. senior girls AAA basketball championships.
And for the Kelowna Owls, bringing their best has meant, in an old newspaperman’s terminology, playing hot off the press.
“We didn’t put in the press in until quite late in our season,” explained Owls’ head coach Darren Semeniuk after his charges put on a clinic in full- and half-court defence to take a comfortable 87-51 victory over Port Moody’s injury-riddled Heritage Woods Kodiaks in the tourney’s opening game Wednesday at the Langley Events Centre.
“I thought we could just throw it in there and the players would understand it a bit easier than they did,” he continues. “But the concept of when to go and trap is not as easy as it looks.”
On the contrary, the Owls made it look easy against a Kodiaks team that clearly misses its dynamic point guard Jenna Griffin, who suffered a torn ACL at the Tsumura Basketball Invitational in mid-December and has had to shut down her season heading into provincials.
Kelowna’s press allowed them to dominate Heritage Woods 28-6 in the second quarter, effectively putting the game away after 20 minutes.
Arizona State-bound point guard Taya Hanson, a Baden BCSSGBA Super 15 select, led the winners with 28 points, while Jaeli Ibbetson scored 20 and Kasey Patchell 15.
Hailey Counsell, the Kodiaks’ UBC-bound guard-forward and another Baden BCSSGBA Super 15 pick, led her team with 19 points, while younger sister Maddy Counsell added 12 points.
Coach Semeniuk said that as season has progressed, it became more apparent that his team needed to add extra features to its game, and that the press could be something that would help give them a deeper defensive identity.
“We only had a handful of games where we were needing to really play urgent,” he said. “In a lot of games we were fine in the half court. We could turn up the juice and it would generate a break, but against the better teams we weren’t getting (turnovers), those live balls that lead to transition. We thought right then that we needed to start playing the game more in the middle of the floor.”
Semeniuk admitted it worked like a charm against Heritage Woods.
“I thought we did a good job of getting their ball handler out of control and then coming in from the back side,” he said. “You have to give credit to whichever girl we had on the ball for getting the ball-handler’s vision down.
“But the games just keep getting tougher and what looks good today might not look good tomorrow.
“But we’re going to stay with it,” he added. “We think it can be a strength for us.”
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