COQUITLAM — Welcome to the final day of the 2018 Centennial Top 10 Shoot-Out!
Today we find one of the most enduring invitational sites in B.C. girls high school history in a state of flux. With construction continuing towards the ‘new’ Centennial Secondary, we’re down to one gym!
The action, of course, continues thanks to the efforts of organizers Larry Moro and Dave Hill.
We’ve got reports for the first five games below. As well, click here for the full skinny on Saturday’s championship final between No. 1 Walnut Grove and No. 2 Kelowna.
SOUTH KAMLOOPS 69 vs. ABBOTSFORD 52
Maddy Gobeil has always been at the heart and soul of her South Kamloops Titans, and now that they’ve got their entire team together, the talented guard is showing just how talented the entire roster is.
Gobeil scored a game-high 26 points and 6-foot-6 Olivia Morgan-Cherchas, absent at a Canada Basketball junior team gathering when the Titans played at the Tsumura Basketball Invitational in mid December, added another 16 points as South Kam topped Abbotsford 69-52.
South Kamloops’ head coach Del Komarniski acknowledged the impact both had on the Titans’ third-place finish.
“Maddy plays so hard, she has so much grit and skill,” said Komarkniski. “She lays it on the line and leads us by example. And Olivia impacts things for us just by her presence and the way other teams have to prepare to play us.”
Over a decisive third quarter, in which the Titans were able to wrest control away from the Panthers, Gobeil scored 14 points the hard way, going 6-of-8 from the stripe in the process.
Sienna Lenz led Abbotsford with 17 points while Beryl Kithinji added 14 and Marin Lenz a further eight points.
“We like where we’re at but there is still a lot of basketball left to be played,” said Komarniski. “There’s a lot of season left and we’re not content.”
HERITAGE WOODS 87 BROOKSWOODS 78
The Heritage Woods Kodiaks are starting find the sunny side of consistency with a little more regularity as the calendar continues to inch towards the high-stakes games of February.
Star senior guard Hailey Counsell lit up the goals at Centennial Secondary on Saturday, scoring a game-high 34 points to lead Port Moody’s Kodiaks to an 87-78 win over Langley’s Brookswood Bobcats. The finish is the school’s highest ever at the Top 10.
“Sometimes we are composed, and sometimes not,” said Tomlinson. “When we’re composed we can be pretty good.”
Trailing 25-15 at the quarter and 45-36 at the break, the Kodiaks embarked on a game-changing 17-0 run midway through the third quarter to take a 50-46 lead, a surge highlighted by the UBC-bound Counsell’s three straight three-point buckets.
“It’s fun to coach a special player,” admitted Tomlinson, the veteran bench boss who has guided teams in parts of the past four decades. “But she can be better. We’re working on aspects of her game that are less than her shot, and that will just broaden her overall game.:”
Counsell’s toughness was never in question.
Hobbling yesterday with an ankle injury, she pronounced herself healthy and ready to go earlier in the day, and then played through any pain after re-tweaking the ankle in the pre-game shoot-around.
Counsell hit five triples and shot 7-of-8 from the stripe.
Grade 10 Jenna Griffin, an equally-gutsy guard, added 21 points while Rachel Tomlinson scored 13 and Breonna Martin 11.
Janessa Knapp led Brookswood with 19 points while the Langley squad also got 18 from Neyha Lali and 12 from Olivia Ohlmann.
RIVERSIDE 67 vs. OAK BAY 55
When Tessa Burton knocked down a three-pointer to open the scoring in the early stages of play Saturday against Victoria’s Oak Bay Bays, Riverside head coach Paul Langford figured his Port Coquitlam team could be in for a good day.
“Saturday morning games are not easy ones to shoot it well so I am happy that we were able to today,” Langford said after his team contrasted its start a day previous, needing six minutes to get on the scoreboard in a loss to Port Moody’s Heritage Woods Kodiaks. “It was great to see Tessa hit one right away.”
The Rapids kept their rhythm against Victoria’s much taller Bays, and solidifying that effort was the ninth grade sensation Sammy Shields, who scored a game-high 25 points, including six triples.
Jessica Parker scored 16 points while Burton added 13 in addition to be given the defensive assignment against Oak Bay’s star 6-foot-2 forward Georgia Alexander, who led her team with 20 points. Teammate Marika Shafonsky added 10 points.
The Rapids built their lead to 36-23 at the half, and in the fourth led by as many as 16 points at 55-39.
“We’ve been hurt and we’re small so we’ve got to shoot the ball well because we don’t get a lot of rebounds,” added Langford, who lost both Parker and Alanya Davignon to fouls after both worked hard to block out and keep the taller Bays off the glass.
LORD TWEEDSMUIR 78 vs. CARSON GRAHAM 73
Shelvin Grewal hit a three-pointer with 24 seconds remaining, snapping a 73-73 tie and lifting Surrey’s defending B.C. champion Panthers to a 78-73 win over North Vancouver’s Eagles.
Carmen Sihota then drained a pair of free throws after Carson Graham was forced to foul following a steal by India Aikins.
“All the time, all the time,” Tweedsmuir head coach Gary Pawluk said of Grewal, who is among the most dynamic B.C. high school three-point shooting talents of the millennium. “Under pressure, the kid is amazing. She loves this. She embraces this.”
Grewal, who this week committed to Eastern Arizona College, scored a game-high 28 points including seven triples as the Panthers rallied from a 13-point (39-26) halftime deficit.
Lord Tweedsmuir needed everything Grewal could supply to hold off an Eagles team led by point guard Alex Walker who also poured home a game-28 points. Teammate Tanis Metcalfe added 20.
India Aikins with 14 points and Breanne Homeniuk with 10 also broke double figures on offence for Lord Tweedsmuir.
“It gets tough now,” continued Pawluk of the slate of Valley league games upcoming. “We’ve got Brookswood and Walnut Grove over the next three weeks.”
CENTENNIAL 71 vs. DUCHESS PARK 66
Grace Killins and Daniella Iacobucci each caught fire, helping carry the hosts to a 71-66 victory.
Iacobucci finished with 23 points, while Killins scored a game-high 29 points, including 15 over the second half as the Centaurs topped Prince George’s Duchess Park Condors.
“Yesterday we were up by 10 against Carson Graham and couldn’t hold it but today we showed some composure,” said Centaurs’ head coach Lucian Sauciuc.
“We’re getting better,” he continued. “We played some tough defence. We had a real tough draw here, opening with Oak Bay and Abbotsford. And we’re a team that starts four Grade 11s (Killins, Iacobucci, Lina Ayubi, Dahlia Parolin) and a Grade 9 (Ope Balagun).”
The Centaurs built a 40-25 lead midway through the contest but the Condors rallied behind the fine play of guard Logan Cruz to take a 57-55 lead.
From there, the composure Saucic spoke came to the fore as Centennial went 12-of-14 from the charity stripe over the final quarter.
“You know how tough the Fraser Valley is, but hopefully we are going to peak for the playoffs and give some of those top teams a scare,” said Sauciuc.
Rachael Holmes added 11 in a losing cause for the Condors.
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