LANGLEY — Makenna Gardner remembers the pain of ‘The shot’, and now that she and her Langley Christian teammates have officially exorcised the memories of last season’s B.C. semifinal OT loss to the G.W, Graham Grizzlies, it’s time for the Lightning to officially set its site on the school’s first B.C. girls basketball title.
Sydney Bradshaw scored a game-high 20 and Gardner added 19 more as LCS limited Vancouver’s York House Tigers to just 13 second-half points in a 71-41 win, setting up a B.C. title clash Saturday against Vancouver’s Britannia Bruins.
“It’s been our goal all season to get back to this spot and we’ve given ourselves a shot,” said Gardner, one of B.C.’s most coveted senior recruits who is set to begin her collegiate career next season atop Burnaby Mountain with the Simon Fraser Clan.
“It’s just awesome to get to where we want to be,” added Gardner. “Everyone has been in the gym every single day trying to get back. We’re not done yet, but it sure feels good.”
Langley Christian, a former power at the Single-A tier, has been building the past four seasons under Gardner’s mom, head coach Danielle Gardner.
Last season, the Lighting looked like they had finally gotten over the hump in the B.C. Final Four, but G.W. Graham’s Deanna Tuchscherer, now the freshly-minted Canada West rookie of the year with the UFV Cascades, sunk a crazy baseline jumper to send the game to overtime where the Grizzlies eventually won.
On Friday, there was no such drama.
LCS turned a tight 31-28 lead into a decisive victory as Makenna Gardner added seven rebounds, seven assists and five steals to her line score.
Bradshaw had 15 rebounds, while Lainey Shelvey had 10 points and nine rebounds.
Nadine Wu had 19 points and Finley Butler 12 for the Tigers, who were doubled on the glass 52-26.
“It’s every girls dream to get here and to do it with the girls you love and the team that you have grown up in life with for the last seven years is incredible,” said Gardner, who won a senior varsity provincial title as a late-season call-up as a Grade 8 in 2016, but has yet to enjoy the same golden moment at Double A.
(If you can’t make it to the LEC for Saturday’s four straight B.C. girls basketball provincial finals, Howard Tsumura and Breanne Watson will have the call of Saturday’s title at 12:30 p.m.)
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