Okanagan Mission's Melaina Corrado digs in during a drive to the rim against Walnut Grove's Tabitha Knoedel (left) and Tia Rowell on Friday morning during TBI quarters at the LEC. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2019. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Girls Basketball

TBI 2019 Elite Eight: Deep and dangerous Okanagan Mission Huskies too much for Walnut Grove Gators

LANGLEY — It’s still early in the season, yet Meghan Faust is not letting anything get stale with her Okanagan Mission Huskies senior girls basketball team.

While the focus is on execution during the games this week here at TBI 2019, it’s pretty clear that B.C.’s No. 1-ranked Triple-A team holds some pretty intense practices, and all of that came to the fore Friday as the Huskies beat the Quad-A No. 3-ranked Walnut Grove Gators 75-66 in the first of four quarterfinals played at the Langley Events Centre.

“It’s pretty cool because in any game, I can start anybody, and I actually have changed it up every single game,” said Faust, whose Huskies led by as many as 20 points (62-42) early in the third quarter. “That’s great because the girls are competing even harder for that starting spot and working hard to stay out there.”

Walnut Grove’s Fania Taylor (right) tries to keep a step ahead of OKM’s Devon Felt during quarterfinal play at TBI 2019 on Friday morning. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2019. All Rights Reserved)

In advancing to tonight’s 6:45 p.m. semifinal against the winner of St. Thomas More vs. Langley Christian, all 10 OKM players hit the scoresheet, led by 5-foot-10 Grade 11 forward Lily Pink, who scored a team-high 21 points.

Point Melaina Corrado, one of only two seniors on the team, added 12 points, but more importantly veteran calm and presence on a team with eight underclassmen in the main rotation.

“It’s vital,” Faust explained of her floor general’s presence. “She is such a mentor at point guard and to the younger guards out there. She just works harder than anyone out there on the court and she doesn’t necessarily lead vocally, but all her hard work and her example is what we get.”

Shae Faitala added 11 points, while Elana Corrado and Stella LaGrange each added eight points.

Walnut Grove, going through a period of re-invention following the graduation of three cornerstone seniors last season, got a game-high 22 points from explosive Grade 11 guard Sophia Wisotzki. Grade 11 Anneke Cairnie with 16, and Grade 10 Fania Taylor and Grade 9 Kiera Pemberton with 13 points apiece, rounded out the scoring for the senior-less Gators.

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