Seaquam's Mackenzie Henderson had another great shooting performance against the Brookswood Bobcats during Day 3 semifinal action from the 2023 Tsumura Basketball Invitational on Friday at the Langley Events Centre. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of Varsity Letters 2023. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Girls Basketball

SUPER 16 TBI GIRLS FINAL FOUR FRIDAY: Despite its warts, much-hyped Seaquam-Brookswood clash delivers on so many levels! Seahawk win sets up Super 16 title date with Riverside Rapids!

4A No. 3 SEAQUAM  67 2A No. 1 BROOKSWOOD 40

LANGLEY — The Quad-A No. 3 Seaquam Seahawks of North Delta were fresh off a win over the No. 1-ranked Argyle Pipers.

Meanwhile, Langley’s Brookswood Bobcats came in with the No. 1 ranking in Triple A, and were themselves fresh off a win over the Double-A No. 1 Mulgrave Titans, a victory fuelled by the 44-point performance of its Grade 9 guard Jordyn Nohr.

Both teams teeming with Grades 9-10 uber talent.

With so much of the present and the future of B.C. girls high school basketball on display, it’s no stretch to say that Seaquam vs. Brookswood had developed some instant karma over its 24-hour span before tip-off time Friday.

And while it still founds ways to entertain, it turned out to be anything but a tight, dramatic classic-in-the-making.

Nohr picked up a pair of quick fouls, sat for an extended period, and the Seahawks brought a wave of depth that was simply to much for the Bobcats to handle.

Final score: Seaquam 67 Brookswood 40.

The Seaquam Seahawks did their best to make things difficult for Brookswood guard Jordyn Nohr during Day 3 semifinal action from the 2023 Tsumura Basketball Invitational on Friday at the Langley Events Centre. (Photo by by Wilson Wong protected image 2023. All Rights Reserved)

Afterwards, Seahawks head coach Lucky Toor stripped away the hype which came with the pregame noise and accepted the win for just what it was. 

“Lot of times that is how these games go, the ones that are built up to be a lot of drama and hype,” began Toor. “It’s just playoff basketball in a sense even though it’s December and a lot of people are amped up. We always tell girls to just stay in the moment because you have to learn how to win these grind-it-out games.”

Call it what it was… a game with no varnish, a game with enough rough edges that sacrifice to the winning cause is measured in figurative slivers taken.

It’s Seaquam guard Priya Toor, coming back from an ACL injury which caused her to miss the entire 2022-23 campaign, stepping up as an on-ball defender against Nohr.

It’s Brookswood’s Grade 9 pair of centre Ashley Vande Ven and guard Emma Lenhoff taking more of a leading role in Nohr’s absence, and in the process excelerating their acquisition of on-court confidence.

It’s TFSE TV analyst Cheryl Jean-Paul telling viewers about the hidden value beyond points-scored that so many of the players on the floor give their teams, including the intangibles of Seaquam’s 6-foot-3 Grade 11 centre Sydney Roufosse.

It’s getting a chance to see the possibilities just coming to fore for Vanden Ven, especially when viewed within time and space while facing the bucket. 

Could Seaquam’s 6-foot-1 Grade 10 forward Camryn Tait, a player enviable wingspan, a massive and explosive stride and exceptional offensive sensibilities, someday morph into a point guard?

And if this game were played next week, what could change by then from rosters in a fluid state of skill development?

Seaquam Seahawks senior girls basketball coach Lucky Toor. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of Varsity Letters 2022. All Rights Reserved)

In the end, perhaps the most accurate three-point shooter at TBI this week — Seaquam’s Mackenzie Henderson — continued her torrid pace with five more triples and a team-high 15 points in the Seahawks’ win. Guard Callie Brost and Tait each added 14.

Nohr scored 12 points and hit three treys in the loss while logging just a handful of minutes for Brookswood.

“We all know it would have been a different game if she had been in it,” said Toor, “but the thought process heading in was to limit her touches, get it out of her hands, then try not to let her get it back. That is about all you can do with a dominant player like that.”

When Toor was asked what the most important part of Saturday’s championship final was for his team, he replied of a game in which the winner would assume the new No. 1 spot in the Quad-A Top 10 rankings: “To enjoy it. Our whole mindset coming into this week was that this an exact replica of what provincials week is going to feel like. It’s going to be a grind, but tomorrow is going to be all about enjoying it.”

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