LANGLEY — Thanks for your patience.
The Final Four is set for the 2019 B.C. junior girls basketball championships with semifinals set for 6:30 p.m.and 8 p.m. tip offs Friday.
6:30 p.m. — No. 2 Kelowna vs. No. 3 Riverside
8 p.m. — No. 1 Terry Fox vs. No. 13 MEI
TOP HALF DRAW
No. 1 TERRY FOX 76 vs. No. 9 CLAREMONT 30
LANGLEY — The top seeds are managing to keep all of the distractions at arm’s length, and after two days of competition, PoCo’s Terry Fox Ravens are still looking like the team to beat.
Building a 43-17 lead at the half and then holding Victoria’s Claremont Spartans to just three points in the fourth quarter, the Ravens fashioned a 46-point win, just one night after winning by 77 points.
Now, with a semifinal date booked against Abbotsford’s No. 13-seeded MEI Eagles, are the Ravens ready for steeper competition without getting a push all week here at the LEC?
“I think we’re just trying to take care of business ourselves and it’s a little more challenging when you might have to pull back a little and not play the whole game,” said Ravens’ coach Mike Carkner. “But our kids are good. They have done it all year, where they will rise up for big games.”
Still, even with their experience of going right to the finals of the Junior National NBA championships this summer, Carkner says the B.C. tournament carries with it a different kind of vibe.
“It’s just a little bit more of an intense atmosphere,” Carkner says. “It’s a bigger venue for the kids, and then coming in without a loss (33-0) adds a little pressure, but they have already had exposure to some pretty big games. But this is the biggest one, so it’s keeping nerves coming forward.”
Lauren Clements led the Ravens with a game-high 17 points. Ana-Maria Misic had 13, and both Cerys Merton and Emily Sussex 11 each.
Charlotte Westhaver scored 16 points to lead the Spartans.
No. 13 MEI 71 No. 12 YALE 63 (2OT)
LANGLEY —Report on this game will be posted early Friday.
BOTTOM HALF DRAW
No. 2 KELOWNA 53 No. 10 FLEETWOOD PARK 35
LANGLEY — It wasn’t too long after the Kelowna Owls senior girls basketball team earned its berth into Friday’s Final Four on the LEC’s Centre Court, that the JV Owls did likewise at the field house complex.
“I didn’t know that the seniors had won,” admitted Owls junior head coach Robin Espenberg after his team got by Surrey’s Fleetwood Park Dragons to earn their own share of semifinal invites.
“I think, though that is speaks volumes of Kelowna basketball, and how there are a lot of dedicated parents, coaches and players working hard, and hopefully ready to do the city proud.
Crosstown rival Okanagan Mission had both of its teams fall off the championship side of the draw Thursday. PoCo’s Riverside kept its junior team on the path but its senior team is now out of the running.
Nonetheless, Espenberg wasn’t all too satisfied with his team’s effort.
“It was not our best game, but they all can’t be, we played much better yesterday,” he said. “I have told our team all season long that we want to peak at the end of the season, so hopefully that is what we’re doing now.”
The Owls opened the game on an 11-0 run and led 20-4 at the end of the first quarter, basically maintaining that gap throughout.
Tessa Bentley with 14 points led the way for the winner with Avery Chalmers adding 11.
Keerat Sidhu led the Dragons with 11 points.
No. 3 RIVERSIDE 50 No. 11 OKANAGAN MISSION 45
LANGLEY — They started the fourth quarter in a shooting funk, but rare is the game when PoCo’s Riverside Rapids have not been able to shoot their way out of jeopardy.
First it was Lucy Caldwell with a three, then Carmen Cariglino, then Franscine Basiga.
Quite suddenly, the Rapids were leading by eight with 1:58 left, and the opposition Huskies picked precisely the wrong time to go scoreless over the final 4:12 of play.
“That really boosted us, got our energy going,” admitted Rapids head coach Desha Puri after the win. “It’s nice to see the ball go in and give the girls some confidence but they play together as a team and that is how we got here.”
The victory gets the Rapids one step closer to a rematch with their crosstown rivals at Terry Fox.
“Every day it’s game-by-game,” said Puri. “With 14- and 15-year-old girls, it’s hard for them not to look ahead.”
Maria Kim led the Rapids with a game-high 17 points, Caldwell added 14 and Basiga 12.
OKM’s ninth grade talent Tatum Wade scored a team-high 16 points in the loss for head coach Lisa Nevoral. Stella LaGrange added 10 points and Kananai Coon nine.
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