York House's Avery Ratcliffe looks to wrap a pass around Mulgrave's Lucy Xu on Day 3 of the B.C. senior girls Double-A basketball championships at the Langley Events Centre. (Photo by Garrett James property of Vancouver Sports Pictures 2022. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Girls Basketball

03.04.22 Day 3 reports from the 2022 B.C. senior girls DOUBLE-A Final Four basketball championships!

Welcome to Day 3 of the B.C. girls high school basketball championships.

We invite you to keep checking back on this posting throughout Friday for updates.

Langley Christian’s Lainey Shelvey (left) and SMUS Brianne McLeish battle for a loose ball on Day 3 of the B.C. senior girls Double-A basketball championships at the Langley Events Centre.
(Photo by Garrett James property of Vancouver Sports Pictures 2022. All Rights Reserved)


Story by STEVE FROST (special for Varsity Letters)

LANGLEY — Sydney Bradshaw scored the game-winning basket with 12 seconds left to lift No. 1 seed Langley Christian Lightning to a 56-55 win over No. 5 St. Michael’s University Blue Jags in the semifinal of the B.C. senior girls Double-A semifinals.

Bradshaw’s game winner wasn’t even her best shot Friday afternoon.

With 90 seconds remaining, Langley trailing 54-49 and UPSET on the minds of every fan watching at the Langley Events Centre south court, Bradshaw hit a deep three-pointer to cut the St. Michael’s lead to two points and set the stage for a frantic finish.

“We needed that shot and we got it,” said Bradshaw. “I practice those all the time just for scenarios like this. It’s in my range. The coach drew it up like that and I was confident I could make the shot.”

“I didn’t quite draw it up like that,” laughed Langley head coach Dani Gardner, afterwards. “It wasn’t intended to be that deep a shot but I believe in her and I knew she could hit it.”

Bradshaw was fouled on the shot but didn’t make it a four-point play when she missed her foul shot. It was the only free throw she missed all game, going 6-of-7 at the line. Langley was nearly perfect at the line going 20-of-23. St. Michael’s was 9-of-12 from the line.

Bradshaw’s timely three came seconds after St. Michael’s Makena Anderson, the Blue Jags’ all-everything forward, hit a three-pointer to give St. Michael’s its largest lead of the game at 54-49. Anderson finished with a game-high 22-points on 6-of-24 shooting and a game-high 13 rebounds.

On St. Michael’s next possession, leading by two, 54-52, Anderson air-balled a three with 65 seconds left.

Langley Christian’s responded when Clara Fenske scored her only field goal to tie the game at 54, with 54 seconds left.

With 21 seconds to go, St. Michaels’ Anderson was fouled driving to the rim. But she missed one of two field goals to set the stage for Bradshaw’s game-winner.

After Bradshaw scored with 12 seconds left, St. Michael’s had one last chance. Bradshaw almost stole the ball, and in a scrambled in the floor players on both teams got their hands on the ball.  The jump ball possession arrow favoured the Blue Jags, with 7.5 seconds left for one final shot.

Point guard Avery Geddes, the daughter of St. Michael’s head coach Lindsay Brooke, got off a three-point shot that fell short. Geddes, a grade nine point guard, scored nine points and was one of two players to play all 40 minutes. Bradshaw was the other.

“We had a set piece to run at the end for Makena (Anderson) but we had trouble getting it in,” said Brooke. “Avery has a very good basketball IQ and she knows she (had to take the short).”

“We competed hard, we played 40 minutes with no let downs, and we played really well defensively,” explained Brooke. “We put them under pressure which they probably haven’t seen for a long time. No one expected us to contend but we are playing our best basketball of the season.”

St. Michael’s delivered a gritty effort against a team many believe is the best in the province at any level of girls’ basketball. It features three grade 12s headed to play basketball at BC Universities next year. Bradshaw was named player of the game after shooting 6-of-18 from the field, scoring 19 points, grabbing eight rebounds and three steals. The 5-foot-5 point guard is headed to Trinity Western next year.

UBC Thunderbirds recruit, Taelor Coxsford, finished with 14 points on 5-of-22 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds while SFU commit, Laine Shelvey, scored 14 points, grabbed eight boards and six steals.

The Big Three for Langley Christian scored all but one point in the first half but Langley Christian trailed by five at halftime, 27-22. The trio found it tough to score against a relentless Blue Jags defence that contested every shot. Langley Christian scored just seven points in the second quarter and shot 17-of-78 (21.8%) from the field.

“Sometimes you have games like that where the ball just doesn’t fall,” said Bradshaw. “We were quite nervous at the beginning of the game but we persevered and found a way to win it.”

“We were a little slow at times but woke up and hit some shots when we needed to,” said Coach Gardner. “My seniors haven’t been here since grade 10 and their roles are a lot different and now all of sudden you get the hype and you get the incredible atmosphere with the fans, and they were nervous at times.”

“This is their first rodeo coming in a top seed, and them figuring out how to deal with the adversity, and how to play hard when things don’t go smoothly, and learning how to deal with all this is a big deal. It’s a lot different than playing games in your own gym with no fans.”



LANGLEY — There was a moment late in the fourth quarter, with her team just beginning to assume the aura of near-invincibility it has enjoyed within the Double-A ranks this season, that Eva Ruse had one of those ‘no doubt about it’ moments.

Ruse, the uber-taleneted 6-foot-2 Grade 10 guard who had not once left the floor over the course of the game for her Mulgrave Titans, put down her head and drove hard to the basket, bringing such purpose on her drive to the rim that members of the opposition York House Tigers almost seemed to bounce off her force field on the way to rim.

In the end, West Vancouver’s Titans gained the separation they needed to top Vancouver’s Tigers 68-55 in the first of two B.C. senior girls Double-A semifinals at the Langley Events Centre.

Mulgrave’s Eva Ruse controlled the proceedings against the York House Tigers on Day 3 of the B.C. senior girls Double-A basketball championships at the Langley Events Centre. (Photo by Garrett James property of Vancouver Sports Pictures 2022. All Rights Reserved)

Ruse is just one part of the team’s Fab Four Grade 10 starting quartet, yet with a line score that read 23 points and 27 rebounds, including 14 off the offensive glass, it was no stretch to say that she was the headliner on a day the Titans punched their tickets to their first ever B.C. final.

“No. 1 is a mismatch for anybody and we don’t have anybody who can really contain her,” admitted Tigers’ head coach David Prissinotti. “Out Grade 11 Jordyn (Wyder) did a great job, and we made her work for what she got. But if that stat sheet is true and she actually had 27 rebounds?

“How do you stop that?” continued Prissinotti.

“When I see her play I think of someone like a Breanne Watson, a player that is so athletic and active and they just force you to help for the whole 40 minutes,” he added, offering a comparison to the former Richmond-McMath sensation who later starred with the Washington Huskies. “That’s the the kind of player that just changes shots.”

Coupled with the play of guards Eva Wilson and Jenna Talib, and forward Lucy Xu, the Grade 10 contingent took a huge step towards realizing their ability to battle through the physicality and play their best basketball at a big game’s most pivotal stages.

“Eva was incredible for us,” said Mulgrave head coach Claude Leduc. “She’s in Grade 10 but she plays like a senior. She rebounds like rebounds are an oxygen tank for survival. But I also think Ava Wilson opens up so much for everyone and makes it easier for all of our players.”

Leduc agreed the victory was benchmark for his young team, which also got solid play from its senior guard Teagan Sacre.

“This game right here, our kids are starting to realize that we belong,” Leduc added. “Two weeks ago, hardly anyone knew who we were. Now I think they know who we are.”

The Titans will face the winner of the Langley Christian-St. Michaels University School semifinal in tomorrow’s championship final.

Wilson with 15 points, Xu with 11, Talib with 10 and Sacre with nine rounded out Mulgrave’s top scorers in a game that was within two possessions for the first three-and-a-half quarters.

Forwards Wyder (14 rebounds) and Avery Ratcliffe were excellent for York House with 16 points apiece. Point guard Mila Urban added 12 and shooting guard Samantha Mark 10.

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