SURREY — No where was there more proof of the Fraser Valley’s depth of strength this season than the fact that Langley’s Brookswood Bobcats were playing a sudden-elimination game less than three full weeks into February.
The Bobcats, however, marshalled their best qualities and more, as point guard Jenna Dick scored 15 points and dished eight assists in Brookswood’s 76-43 wildcard win Tuesday over North Vancouver’s Handsworth Royals.
“It was tempo,” said Bobcats’ head coach Chris Veale, whose team took a commanding 42-22 lead into the halftime lockers at Surrey’s Panorama Ridge Secondary. “We got some lay-ups, but it was all because we rebounded very well. It gave us a lot of second-chance opportunities and it kept them to one chance, especially in the second half. It’s something we talked about as a group.”
Defensively, Veale had senior Jenessa Knapp, as well as Grade 10s Mackenzie Cox and Quinn Jasper all dialed in to try to stop Handsworth star Julia Strigl, and Veale said keeping her under double-digits in scoring was a key part of the game plan.
Knapp scored 12 points in the win while Grade 10 forward Stefanie Robb added nine points.
“Everyone was scoring, there was good ball movement but at times in the first half, we struggled to score, so thank God we were rebounding,” added Veale.
Now, the Bobcats have a week to prepare to open at the B.C. AAA championships which run Feb. 27-March 2 at the Langley Events Centre.
“The Valley is such a battle and such a grind,” said Veale. “I don’t think we’re playing our best basketball of the year, but that being said, I think we’re right on the fringe of getting to that point again.”
Brookswood continued to play without one of its top scorers, although Veale hoped that Grade 10 guard Neyha Lali would be back in time for the start of provincials.
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