Sadie Thielen (right) of Carnbrook's Mt. Baker Wild (right) makes things tough for Riverside's Henna Vick during Day 1 of the B.C. Quad-A senior girls basketball championships Feb. 28, 2024 at the Langley Events Centre. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of Varsity Letters 2024. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Girls Basketball

A reporter’s notebook from Day 1 at the 2024 B.C. senior girls basketball championships

LANGLEY — Welcome to Day 1 of the 2024 B.C. senior girls basketball championships.

A bit of a change-up this year, which I eluded to here yesterday.

Today I am solo pretty much the entire day and thus will be wandering the gym with my notepad and voice recorder, looking for a few interesting stories to tell. I’ll be joined for the evening card by reporter Aaron Martin.

Please check back with this post throughout the day for updates from my travels and pleas help by getting out the word on all of your social media platforms.0

— Howard


By Aaron Martin (Special for Varsity Letters)

One down, three to go.

The St. Michael’s University School Blue Jags played up to their No. 2 seeding on Wednesday night, dominating to the tune of a 67-34 triumph over the 15th-ranked Little Flower Academy Angels in the day one finale for the Girls’ Triple A championship.

Veteran-laden and battle-tested, the Blue Jags got a dominant performance out of star guard Avery Geddes, who only returned a month ago from a UCL tear that sidelined her for most of the season. Geddes did a little bit of everything on Wednesday, dropping a game-high 20 points while facilitating the electric Blue Jags attack.

“First of all, I was super impressed with how everyone stepped up without Avery, and they did since we played the majority of the season with her,” assessed SMUS head coach Lindsay Brooke. “But, definitely having her and having her fully up to speed is so big. She does a little of everything for us – shooter, ball handler, just kind of a floor general – and we’re lucky she had the chance to come back over the past month and get back to game speed.”

Little Flower came out aggressively to open the contest, trying to combat the Blue Jags’ superior length and quickness with a smart defensive scheme. And it worked to a degree – SMUS was held to just 26 points over the first half, and held just a nine-point advantage by the time the buzzer rang out at the end of 20 minutes.

Emily Zhang (left) of Vancouver’s Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs battles with Avery Geddes of Victoria’s SMUS Blue Jags during TBI 2022 action at the Langley Events Centre. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of 2023 All Rights Reserved)

“Full credit to LFA – they were scrappy and physical against us. They did a nice job with a 2-3 zone, and we kind of struggled early to shoot the ball. We got it going a bit in the second quarter, but really relied on our defense and our press to get it going fully in the second half. I was happy overall – there was some nerves, jitters, but overall, it was a good effort.”

LFA closed the gap to as little as five points early in the third quarter, but the Blue Jags seemed to find their rhythm after that. Midway through the frame, already up 35-25, the St. Michael’s ripped off an electric 12-0 run to essentially put the game out of reach. The Angels had no answer for the deep rotation of scorers that make up the Blue Jags’ roster. Outside of Geddes’ 20, the Jags got 14 from senior guard Alex Motherwell, 12 from Charlie Anderson, and had eight players notch at least a single bucket.

Maybe tempered by their experience in last year’s title loss, where they fell 67-64 to the Abbotsford Panthers, Brookes knows her squad won’t allow their impressive tournament-opening win to change how they approach the game.

“Fortunately, we are a veteran squad – we’ve been at this tournament, and this group, in particular, has been here their entire high school careers. We certainly have had success going deep in the tournament, but that allows us to keep games in perspective. No matter what we do before hand, every game is a one-off where absolutely anything can happen.”

The Blue Jags’ next one-off showdown will be against the 10th-ranked WL Seton Sonics in the tournament quarters tomorrow, after the Sonics scored an upset win over the Robert Bateman Timberwolves earlier on Wednesday evening.

Robert Bateman’s Erin Misura (right)tames her dribble while being pursued by W.L. Seaton’s Aimee Glasser
during Day 1 of the B.C.Triple -A senior girls basketball championships at the Langley Events Centre. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of Varsity Letters 2024. All Rights Reserved)


By Aaron Martin (Special for Varsity Letters)

When it comes to entire seasons, tournaments, or individual games, it’s rarely how you start that matters.

It’s always how you finish.

The 10th-seeded W.L. Seaton Sonics took that to heart, as they bested the No. 7-ranked Robert Bateman Timberwolves 56-48 on the back of a dominant fourth quarter.

How dominant?

Consider that, entering the final frame, the Timberwolves appeared to be in full control. Bateman held a comfortable 42-37 lead by the time the third-quarter buzzer rang out, and that five-point lead the second largest either side had managed to that point in the contest.

Then the fourth started.

After the two sides traded early buckets, a pair of back-to-back triples got the Sonics back on even footing at 44-44 apiece. Then Thalia Olay hit a seeming dagger of a three for the Wolves – part of her team-high 11 points – putting Bateman back up 47-44 with just 5:45 left in the contest.

And that was nearly it for the Wolves offense. As their own attack came to life, the Sonics’ defence completely snuffed out any attack the Wolves tried to muster. Bateman did not hit a field goal after Olay’s triple, with their single point coming off an Olay free throw with under a minute remaining.

The Sonics aggression and timing on defense came through in the big moments, and those tenets also rang through on the offensive end. Seaton’s 19 fourth-quarter points were not only the best for either team in a single quarter, they also came in the game’s most critical moments.

Aimee Glassser, who earned Player of the Game honours for her game-high 16-points, played a huge role in the final frame with a pair of back-breaking three balls. Emery Britton had just one bucket in the contest, but it was part of a brilliant passing play that saw the guard drift in from the left wing and drop in a layup.

And on seemingly every late-game Bateman miss, Seaton’s physicality not only got them a rebound, but more than once got them to the line on the other side as the Wolves found themselves in foul trouble.

At every turn, when the game moment got bigger, so too did the Sonics.

“This is an awesome group of girls,” said Sonics head coach Chris Colclough of his team’s late-game efforts. “Their desire to win is super strong, and they absolutely stuck to the game plan we had going in. We knew we wanted to do certain things on defence, and they executed perfectly.”

And Colclough noted that, as much as he’s trying to keep his side focused on the next opponent, they’ve been aspiring for more than just a first-round win.

“The last few weeks, these girls have been playing up to their potential and beyond,” he said. “I know how excited they’ve been, and while we’ve been taking it a game at a time, they’re always looking forward.”

As the Sonics move on to the Elite Eight against the winner of St. Michaels University School and Little Flower Academy, the moments, and the pressure, will get bigger still. But if their opening game is any indication, the Sonics will be able to answer.

Britannia’s Chenesayi Kagande (left) skips a pass past Lambrick Park’s Emily Pitre during Day 1 of the B.C. -A senior girls basketball championships at the Langley Events Centre. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of Varsity Letters 2024. All Rights Reser


By Howard Tsumura

As the veteran head coach of East Vancouver’s Britannia Bruins, it’s easy to say that Mike Evans is the guy driving the bus of the province’s most enduring Double-A basketball programs.

But truth be told, every time the Bruins show up at the Langley Events Centre for games at the provincial championships, like they did Wednesday for the event’s opening round, Evans is the guy who is actually behind the steering wheel of the Britannia bus.

“There are not a lot of secrets, some maybe I shouldn’t know being the anonymous bus driver,” Evans said with a chuckle Wednesday, following his No. 10 Bruins’ impressive 68-50 win over Victoria’s No. 7 Lambrick Park Lions.

All frivolity aside, Evans has been coaching long enough that he says he’s learned to pick up on the dynamics of his team… whether they are in a good space as a collective, and when that group is sitting on a bus, on longer excursions like to a team hotel near the championship site, it’s even easier to pick up on the dynamics in the air.

Mike Evans (centre) and the rest of the Britannia coaching staff led the Bruins to the 2020 B.C. Double-A title at the Langley Events Centre. (Photo by Paul Yates property of Vancouver Sports Pictures 2020. All Rights Reserved)

The Bruins may have entered the tournament as the No. 10 seed, but as Evans correctly points out, the Vancouver Sea-to-Sky zone is one of the toughest, with defending B.C. champ and No. 1 seed Mulgrave the zone champs and runner-up Notre Dame the No. 4 seed.

“We knew we weren’t going to get a very high seed, but we felt that we could play with anyone, so it didn’t really matter who we played.

“And being with the team the last few days, you really do pick up that feeling from them, that energy.”

And nowhere more than on the bus Evans happens to be driving.

“We worked out this morning in a gym, did some shooting and ran through a few thigns, and because I drive the bus, you pick up vibes some how,” he continued. “It’s not all about the court. It’s what happens ahead of times, sometimes.”

Those vibes manifested with great on-court connection as Britannia puts its game plan into action against the Lions.

Britannia Cheyanne Wilson looks to post up against a Lambrick Park double-team during Day 1 of the B.C. Doube-A senior girls basketball championships at the Langley Events Centre. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of Varsity Letters 2024. All Rights Reser

“We wanted to use our speed, we knew we couldn’t let them get second shots so we had to get some kind of rebounding,” said Evans, “but we wanted to play the game on their side of centre, between the threes, putting the pressure on and stopping the ball. And it led to a whole bunch of turnovers.”

It also led to a balanced group of scorers behind leading point-getter Cheyenna Wilson, the 5-foot-10 senior who scored a game-high 22 points.

Bianca Padolina and Tesaa Scarlett-Charleson each scored a dozen while Taegan Lee added 11 and Chenesayi Kagande scored nine.

Amira Bimb, the 5-foot-11 senior on th Gary Baker-coached Lions, led her team with 13 points.

Grade 10 Siena Kholsa had 10 while Grade 11 guard Emily Pitre had nine.

The Bruins now advance to face the winner of a Wednesday semifinal between No 2 Holy Cross and No. 15 Abbotsford Traditional.

South Kamloops’ Kiana Kaczur helped lead her team past Pitt Meadows during Day 1 of the B.C. Triple-A senior girls basketball championships at the Langley Events Centre. (Photo by Wilson Wong property of Langley Events Centre 2024. All Rights Reserved)


By Aaron Martin (Special for Varsity Letters)

Imposing their will.

Coming off a third-place finish in the tourney last year and entering this year’s championship bracket as the No 3 seed, the South Kamloops Titans have put together as good a resume as any program in the province over the past two seasons.

They could have easily looked past the No. 14-ranked Pitt Meadows Marauders, who they faced on Wednesday as part of opening night at the 2024 BC High School Girls Triple-A Championships.

However, Titans head coach Del Komarniski’s approach of simply focusing on the task in front of them at any given moment paid dividends, as South Kamloops cruised to a 75-52 win to advance.

“We just try to focus on each possession,” said Komarniski of keeping his team in the moment. “Defensively and offensively, we try not to think about the scoreboard, or the bracket, or anything other than just trying to do our jobs each time we go up and down the floor.

However, Komarniski was also quick to give credit to the Fraser North champs from Pitt Meadows, highlighting the play of Grade 10 guard Jocelyn Boyes, who finished with a team-high 22 points.

“They battled hard,” said Komarniski. “Pitt Meadows was formidable, and that guard [Boyes] is a heck of a player. They gave us a ton to watch out for, and battled us really competitively. Fortunately, we were able to handle it.”

On the Titans’ side, the game came down to their superstars. Senior forward Kylee Koppes earned Player of the Game honours on the back of a dominant 25-point performance in which she also wrought absolute havoc as a defender. Not far behind was the Titans’ other two-way dynamo, senior guard Kiana Kaczur. The veteran floor general dropped 19 points of her own, but was as impressive as an on-ball defender and disruptor.

The game was fairly close until midway through the second quarter. At one point, the two sides were knotted up at 27-27, but then a devastating 14-0 South Titans run as the game approached halftime proved too much for the Marauders to overcome.

The Titans will move on, and are now set to face either the No. 6-ranked Duchess Park Condors or the No. 11-ranked R.A. McMath Wildcats in the tournament’s Elite Eight on Thursday night. 

GW Graham head coach Sarah Mouritzen shares a coaching moment with Nicole Folk as the Grizz faced Dr. Charles Best during Day 1 of the B.C. Quad-A senior girls basketball championships at the Langley Events Centre. (Photo by Garrett James property of Vancouver Sports Pictures 2024. All Rights Reserved)


By Howard Tsumura

If you are on the outside looking in, then the rise of Chilliwack’s G.W. Graham Grizzlies as a Quad-A power may look a little like an overnight success story.

Following her team’s 68-54 win over Coquitlam’s Dr, Charles Best Blue Devils in the opening round of a 2024 Quad-A draw in which it came in seeded sixth, you’re not wrong in your thinking that head coach Sarah Mouritzen’s team has come out of nowhere.

Yet there’s also been a lot of tears and hard slogging to get to a position where the Grizzlies are now, preparing for Thursday’s provincial quarterfinal round in the event’s largest tier of competition.

The basic core of the current G.W, Graham team is now into its third season together at the senior varsity level.

One season ago, it came up short in its bid for a B.C. tourney berth when it fell in the Eastern Valley’s third-place game to Langley’s R.E. Mountain Eagles.

This season, however, the Grizzlies beat the rival Yale Lions of Abbotford to win their zone, and on Wednesday they never panicked when the Blue Devils twice made substantial rally attempts from 18-point deficits.

“We were devastated to lose last year, but we weren’t readY. This year we are ready, we’re really ready,” said Mourtizen, who got 18 and 16 points respectively from Grade 11’s Ashlyn Adams and Jada Paquin, and 10 more from senior centre Brooklyn Klim.

Jessica Parkinson led the Blue Devils with 18 points while Denise Mendoza added 17.

“We’re smarter,” said Mouritzen. “We have always been so emotional, so passionate and so competitve and that used to be our downfall.”

Now, with an older and more experienced team, albeit one that starts five Grades 11s, those traits help to generate positive results.

“When the other team started coming back before we would have crumbled, but we’re good now. They are just that much more mature.”

G.W. Graham’s Abby Hopwood leads her team down the floor against Dr. Charles Best during Day 1 of the B.C. Quad-A senior girls basketball championships at the Langley Events Centre. (Photo by Garrett James property of Vancouver Sports Pictures 2024. All Rights Reserved)

Although records aren’t formally kept, the G.W. Graham senior girls team under Mourtizen surely holds a place of distinction in terms of qualification for the provincial championships at various tiers.

GW Graham has qualified for the B.C. Double-A tournament on three occasions, including back-to-back losses in the final to the South Kamloops Titans.

It also qualifed for the provincials at Triple-A in 2020, and now, in its third season as a Quad-A entry, is making its first B.C. tourney appearance.

“This group is the same group we have had for three years, other than Jada who came up from the junior team,” she says. “The fact is we’re not the youngsters or the underdogs anymore. We’re good enough to play with anybody. We said ‘Let’s win and go for dinner.’”

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Saavyn Mann (right) prepares shoot against the close-out of Burnaby Central Kierra Blundell during Day 1 of the B.C. Quad-A senior girls basketball championships at the Langley Events Centre. (Photo by Garrett James property of Vancouver Sports Pictures 2024. All Rights Reserved)


By Howard Tsumura

Mike Mitro says he had a simple statement to make to his No. 12-seeded Lord Tweesdsmuir Panthers before they took to the court to face the No. 5 Burnaby Central Wildcats.

“I told the girls ‘We’re not a 12, let’s go out and shock them,” Mitro said after the fabled follies of the 5-12 game came to life Wednesday here in the opening round of the B.C. senior girls Quad-A championships as the South Fraser runners-up defeated the Fraser North runners-up 78-75.

“We watched some film and saw some things about them where if we could keep our tempo high the whole game, we knew we would be able to slide through some cracks, maybe try to get them in foul trouble,” said Mitro. “That was our whole goal. I knew my guards were quicker than their guards, and we knew we had to keep No. 3 (Ankita Chopra) from shooting threes. But then she started driving and then posting up, which was trouble for us. But we made a few adjustments and then we just did some smart things down at the end.”

The Panthers were led by the the outstanding play of a trio of players.

Hanna Grewal scored a team-high 25 points, former Fleetwood Park Dragon Saavyn Mann added 21 more and Sammy Ma added another 17.

The positive there from a Lord Tweedsmuir perspective?

Grewal is in Grade 10, while Mann and Ma are both Grade 11s.

“They are fired up,” Mitro said of his players. “We knew coming into the game that we had a legiaimte chance. We had to weather their initial storm and then we could get them tired. We’re a team that… we just gotta run right through the fourth quarter and then we get some easy stuff.”

The Wildcats staged a comeback late.

Trailing 72-62 with under five minutes remaining, they peeled off a 9-0 run to get to 75-71, yet once there, went 1-of-5 from the free throw line at one juncture.

Chopra made just one shot from the field over the final three quarters, yet the talented guard somehow found a way to score a game-high 30 in defeat for the Wildcats, 

Feeling physicality at every touch, she paid the full price of admission for her 16 free throw trips over that span.

Sophia Morton, the team’s 6-foot centre, finished with 17 points before fouling out late. Vobia Kalome added 13 and Kierra Blundell 10. 

Chopra, Blundell, Kalome and Morton are all seniors and thus the loss hurt them exponentially more.

Burnaby Central will now face Okanagan Mission in a 3:30 p.m. quarterfinal on Thursday.

Fernie’s Paige Metejka (right) looks to pass under the watch of Notre Dame’s Anastasia Kalpidis
during Day 1 of the B.C. Double-A senior girls basketball championships at the Langley Events Centre. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of Varsity Letters 2024. All Rights Reserved


By Howard Tsumura

There is an old adage in high school basketball circles which has always maintained that if you’re good, no matter where you are, they are going to find you.

Even if you’re from the faraway reaches of Fernie, about 20 minutes west of the Alberta border.

On Wednesday, as the B.C. Double-A girls championships opened on ther floor of the Fieldhouse at the Langley Events Centre, Fernie’s Falcons took to the floor as the No. 13 seed, set to face the fifth-seeded Notre Dame Jugglers of Vancouver.

Yours truly has been looking forward to watching this Fernie team again, because it meant that I’d be sitting courtside to watch the Grade 12 version of the Falcons’ scoring guard Kadee Anderson.

At last season’s B.C.’s, Anderson was one of the best players over all three tiers of competition taking part at provincials.

Confident, focussed, the owner of a deadly three-point shot and the kind of player who brought an attitude to the party, she finished her four-game run as a Grade 11 guard averaging 26 points per game and was the tier’s leading scorer over the course of the tourney.

So imagine my surprise entering the gym and discovering that she was no longer a part of the team.

“Nope, she’s gone… to Raymond (Alta),” informed Fernie head coach Jen Kennedy, whose team nonetheless might be the best 13th seed relative to their tier to play here this week, rallying late with an 11-0 game-ending run but falling 59-50 to the Jugglers.

Like we said, even if you’re hiding out in Fernie, the best teams are going to find you.

“We don’t begrudge her at all,” Kennedy said of Anderson, who a few weeks ago at the famed Lutheran Invitational Tournament, known across the country as ‘The LIT’, set a new tournament record for three-pointers made. “She needed to play some Quad-A ball at the highest level. She has family there so that’s why she went there and she needed to be seen on the big stage all of the time.”

Coming off a summer in which Anderson played for the B.C. Under-17 team at the national championships, she has since gone on to team with Raymond’s Canadian U-17 national team point guard Delaney Gibb. There is no better backcourt duo in the province, and Kennedy feels that tag could well apply nationally.

“Of course we always want them to stay…selfishly,” chuckled Kennedy. “But we know our job is to get as many kids to the biggest platform possible and so we support her decison and we cheer her on,” said Kennedy, who added that Kadee’s younger sister Jacee is a Grade 10 guard on this season’s team.

The elder Anderson would have put the Fernie team at an entirely different level here at provincials this season.

Last year, she scored 29 points as the Falcons opened the tournament with an overtime win over Richmond’s A.R. MacNeill Ravens.

Fernie coach Jen Kennedy points the way to her Falcons as they faced Notre Dame during Day 1 of the B.C. Double-A senior girls basketball championships at the Langley Events Centre. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of Varsity Letters 2024. All Rights Reserved

On Wednesday, Notre Dame was buoyed by its 22-point second quarter which led to a 37-25 halftime lead.

The Falcons did it all in the fourth quarter, limiting the Jugglers to just nine points with their strong late finish.

Kaitlyn Chan hit five threes and scored a team-high 17 points to lead Notre Dame, while Maecon Glifonia added 10 more.

Leila Hannemann, a 5-foot-10 senior and a talent in her own right, scored a game-high 18 for the Falcons, while Emilee French added 10 more.

Wednesday may have been the start of the week here for the Falcons, but in so many ways it was the culminationm of a season of planning behind the scenes.

“We do lots of fund-raising and we have very good smalltown sponsors and without them. We would not have been able to come down,” Kennedy said of meeting a $15,000 budget for the provincials.

Dishing against the defence of Notre Dame’s Joanna Pepe (left) and Kaitlyn Chan is Fernie’s Leila Hanneman
during Day 1 of the B.C. Double-A senior girls basketball championships at the Langley Events Centre. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of Varsity Letters 2024. All Rights Reserved

The team took a near-four hour school bus ride to Calgary then flew one-hour to Abbotsford, a huge bonus in cutting down form the wear and tear of an extended half-day of automobile travel.

Unfortunately their location prohibits them from being seen in the bigger B.C. centres.

“It’s hard to come here because even in the rankings, no one knows where to put Fernie and I get that,” she says. “We are only 20 minutes from the Alberta border. It’s easier for us to come east, but we wanted to give Notre Dame the best game we could. We knew they could shoot the crap out of the ball and they did. But we will keep our heads high and stay positive.”

College Heights’ Summer Toor prepares to load her shooting pocket for another three-point shot attempt. The Grade 11 guard hit a career-high seven triples in a win over Clayton Heights during Day 1 of the B.C. Triple-A senior girls basketball championships at the Langley Events Centre. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of Varsity Letters 2024. All Rights Reserved)


By Howard Tsumura

So, what do Steph Curry, Diego Maffia and … Summer Toor have in common?

Watching the second half of the Triple-A opener between Prince George’s College Heights Cougars and Surrey’s Clayton Heights Riders revealed a terrific three-point shooter in the Cougs’ Summer Toor.

In College Heights’ 70-56 win, Toor, on her way to a game-high 23 points, knocked down seven three pointers before the third quarter was over.

She cooled a bit and later took a seat, yet the damage was done.

“That is her game,” acknowledged College Heights head coach Wade Loukes, the former Victoria Vikes standout. “She can light it up and then the rest of her game gets going, We run a lot of plays for her early.

“Her perimetre game is next level stuff and it loosens up stuff for everybody, like (seniors) for Temi (Bankole) and Mary (Haley).”

The seven triples equalled her high school career high, and although she’s not a Golden State fan, she models her game after its all-time great guard.

“For sure Steph Curry, always look up to him, and just how competent he is with deep threes. That is what I like. He’s definitely my favourite.”

College Heights head coach Wade Loukes, a former Victoria Vikes’ star in action against Clayton Heights during Day 1 of the B.C. Triple-A senior girls basketball championships at the Langley Events Centre. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of Varsity Letters 2024. All Rights Reserved)

In chatting with Loukes on a seemingly unrelated topic, his thoughts on the his alma mater UVic Vikes making it to the U SPORTS Final 8 national tourney, the conversation inevitably turns back to the mentality he instills in all his shooters.

“They are a phenomenal team and Diego is one of a kind,” Loukes says of Oak Bay product Diego Maffia, the most exciting player in the nation, and the rest of the Vikes. “I’m a Prince George guy now so I watched their game (at the Canada West championships) against UNBC.

“He wasn’t clicking early but you have to have that ‘next one is going in’ mentality, and so that is what I teach my girls as well. But Diego is one of a kind and UVic, they are going to be tough to beat.”

For her part Toor admits she’s got some hometown heroes of her own when it comes to her shooting and overall game: The husband-and-wife team of former UBC guards Jordan Yu and Candace Yu nee Morisset.

“I have been training with them since I was very young, and they have really helpled me with my shot,” she says of the pair who run the Northern Bounce club program in harmony with the city’s high school teams.

And Loukes himself was delighted to coach his team to a Round 1 victory.

After his daughter Rachel graduated from CHSS and opened up this season as a freshman at SFU, the coach thought of stepping aside.

Now, he’s looking at least a few more seasons ahead.

“When the season ended last year, I thought it was my last year, and my ultimate goal I think, is to keep coaching but at a junior level where I can help develop kids,” he said, “because it’s more localized.

“Coaching senior girls basketball up north you have to really travel and it’s a big commitment,” he added. “But it’s a great bunch of players, a great group of parents and great support from the shcool and so I decided to come back. I’ll likley take this group through the next cycle.”

Riverside’s Henna Kirk (right) reaches for a block on Mt. Baker’s Calisssa Haine
during Day 1 of the B.C.Quad -A senior girls basketball championships Wednesday at the Langley Events Centre. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of Varsity Letters 2024. All Rights Reserved)


By Howard Tsumura

The reward for being the No. 1 seed here at the provincial tourney is an 8:30 a.m. Day 1 time slot.

Yet if you thought the defending Quad-A champ Riverside Rapids of Port Coquitlam might be a little grumpy about the early tip-off at the Langley Events Centre, think again.

“We love an 8:30 game,” head coach Paul Langford said after his team got its repeat run underway in dominant fashion with a 102-24 victory over No. 16 seed Mt. Baker of Cranbrook.

“We got to sleep in this morning because we practioce at 6 a.m.,” said Langford. “We go until 7:30 so we’d have already been done by now. Today was like sleeping in.”

Indeed, the Mt. Baker-Riverside contest finished just before 10 am.

At Riverside, Langford apprciates how the early practices can allow his student-athletes to focus on their school the rest of the day as well as the many extra-curricular activities they are involved in.

“We go all year every morning so it just gets easy and the kids have their whole day and we require them to referee and they have a ton of other stuff,” continued Langford, who got got a game-high 34 points from senior guard Avery Sussex and 19 more from Grade 11 guard Jorja Hart.

“I used to work midnight shifts and get off at that time in the morning and go to pracrtice,” the now-retired coach added. “ It used to be convenient for me, but there are no conflicts when you are that time. I was hoping that we would be in this time slot.”

The No. 1 seeds rolled in convincing fashion in all three opening games.

At Triple-A, Brookswood beat Caledonia 108-26.

At Double-A, defending champion Mulgrave beat Brentwood College 96-37.

For the record, last season’s 1v16 openers at the 4A, 3A and 2A tiers were decided by an average of 62 points. Today’s three were decided by an average of 67.

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