COQUITLAM — It seems there is a youth movement wherever you care to look these days in the B.C. senior girls high school basketball world.
From teams comprised almost entirely of underclassmen, to those with quality smatterings of non-seniors, that was clearly the theme of this week’s 2020 Top 10 Shoot-Out at here at Centennial Secondary.
And with so much of the attention outside of Quad-A No. 1 Semiahmoo pointed at the B.C. Double A ranks, the smaller tier’s No. 1 team showed Saturday afternoon that it, too, is thriving with its youthful makeup.
The Langley Christian Lightning, for the second time this season, where a decisive winner over Port Coquitlam’s largely Grade 10-based Terry Fox Ravens, beating the Quad-A No. 5 squad 68-46 in the tournament’s fourth-fifth game.
In a Sweet 16 game at the Tsumura Basketball Invitational in December, the Lighting beat Terry Fox 73-31.
In Saturday’s low-scoring affair, the Lightning’s Grade 10 duo of forward Lainey Shelvey and guard Sydnee Bradshaw combined to score 27 points.
“They don’t play like Grade 10’s,” chucked LCS head coach Dani Gardner of Bradshaw who scored 11 of her 12 points in the opening half, and Shelvey who finished with 15. “They fit in nicely and with the combination of my senior players, they are great assets.”
You can never downplay the stability a core of seniors will bring, and in the case of the Lightning on Saturday, the SFU-bound Makenna Gardner was clutch when she needed to be.
Scoreless in the opening quarter as she facilitated others, and sitting with seven points at the half, Gardner finished with a game-high 20 points.
Meanwhile, senior Ava Krepp delivered her toughness in the paint and finished with 15 points.
“Sydney… she is just a fierce competitor and she can D up anyone on the perimetre,” said coach Gardner. “She just competes all the time. She’s become a great compliment to Makenna. She kind of gives us another one.”
On Shelvey: “She is so athletic, she rebounds so well and she can get to the hoop. She’s been getting open looks and she’s hitting those shots now. Her game has really grown.”
The Lightning also have another talented Grade 10 in Taelor Coxford as well as a five player Grade 11 contingent.
Terry Fox was led by the 12 points of Emily Sussex, as well as 11 more from Ana-Maria Misic and 10 from Cerys Merton.
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