South Kamloops' Kiana Kaczur (back) and SMUS Alex Motherwell crashed and banged into each other all game long MARK STEFFENS during Day 3 Final Four play at the 2024 B.C. senior girls basketball championships March 1, 2024 at the Langley Events Centre. (Photo by Mark Steffens property of Vancouver Sports Pictures 2024. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Girls Basketball

TRIPLE-A B.C. girls Final Four 2024: No box score can paint this kind of hoops beauty! Physicality carries the day as SMUS edges South Kam for return to title-game stage!

No. 2 SMUS 55 vs. No. 3 SOUTH KAMLOOPS 54


LANGLEY — They don’t give out an award for the Most Physical Game played here at the B.C. senior girls basketball championships.

But if they did, the Triple-A semifinal played Friday between the Vancouver Island and Thompson-Okanagan champs would win hands down.

And in a game whose strongest images will be moments like the one which saw St. Michaels University School’s Alex Motherwell and Kiana Kaczur of South Kamloops crash to the court with absolute reckless abandon in pursuit of a loose ball, the defining one will be about a girl named Charlie who wound up hitting the biggest free thorow of her life.

Coming out of a time-out with 6.7 seconds remaining and her Victoria-based Blue Jags locked in a 54-54 tie against the arch-nemesis Titans, guard Charlie Anderson cut a fearless path to the basket, got fouled with 1.7 seconds remaining and then promptly… missed the first free throw.

You likely know by now that after taking a calm, measured breath, that Anderson made the second one… and with that No. 2 SMUS survived, notching a 55-54 win, and a berth in Saturday’s 7 p.m. championship final at the LEC against the No. 1-seeded, hometown Brookswood Bobcats.

“We only had six seconds, and I feel like we were attacking the rim decently well… we weren’t finishing our layups,” said Blue Jags’ head coach Lindsay Brooke. “With that little time left, that is a play we have in our back pocket and we executed really well. It was for Charlie to turn-and-burn on the corner there.”

The game had, down its entire fourth quarter stretch drive, one of the tournament’s true breathtaking environments.

One possession leads either way. Ties. The running score would later confirm that those were simply a baseline.

The rest, like the blips and bleeps on EKG test, took everyone on a seenmingly endless cycle of peak to valley.

South Kamloops led 54-53 with 51 seconds left in the game when Feron Wallace grabbed an offensive rebound and scored inside.. But with 39 seconds left, Anderson tied it at 54 by going one-of-two from the stripe, then won it by going one-of-two again.

And as hard as this might to believe, the Blue Jags somehow found a way to defy the basketball gods by booking tickets to their second straight B.C. championship game despite scoring just nine points in the fourth quarter.

And that nine points included just two made goals from the field, and 5-for-10 showing from the free throw line.

Avery Geddes of SMUS tries to shake of Kylee Koppes during Day 3 Final Four play at the 2024 B.C. senior girls basketball championships March 1, 2024 at the Langley Events Centre. (Photo by Mark Steffens property of Vancouver Sports Pictures 2024. All Rights Reserved)

Yet in a somewhat symbolic way, this was a game that no box score could ever accurately paint.

It was the kind of game won with full-throttle contesting at every point of contact… a game in which the primary goal late was to simply to create turnovers between the free throw lines, the scrap for what you could.

In fact, but the time the final few seconds rolled around, it was hard to remember that SMUS had opened the game leading 28-15 at one point and that South Kam had reeled them all the way back in.

“What a game… yeah,” said Titans’ head coach Del Komarniski. “They came out really aggressive, really physical, and played really hard. We were back on our heels for a while. We got squared away. We battled back. I couldn’t be prouder of a group of kids. And hats off to them. It was a well-played game.”

On the day, along with the spoils of victory came the spoiling feeling of pain for SMUS’ Motherwell, pound for pound maybe the toughest player in the province.

Like a smaller version of Oak Bays’ incredible rugby-to-hoops prodigy Sophie de Goede of the Oak Bay Breakers a number of seasons back, Motherwell is tough with a capital T. And she was clearly hindered for most of the second half by what certainly appeared to be an arm injury.

Yet she didn’t ever appear to look towards the bench.

“Alex is awesome,” said Brooke afterwards. “She is so tough. She rises to the occasion. She is a big time player and today is a perfect example. I didn’t sub her once. I couldn’t. We were in major foul trouble with everyone but her so she had to play the whole game, and there she is at the end of the game full-court pressing… making things happen.”

Brooke acknowledged, as Komarniski did, that the two combatants played with the same fervent love for the game, and thus, with elevated stakes, the drama was sure to be high.

“Obviously South Kam, they are such a strong team,” she said of the same team that her team had to get by at the exact same stage of last season’s tournament. “They never gave up. They are really well-coached, disciplined. Tough defence. We knew it was going to be a battle. We obviously have a history with them at this tournament in particular, and that is just exciting stuff.”

Anderson led the Jags with a game-high 23 points while point guard Avery Geddes added 18 more. Motherwell had 10.

Kaczur and Lucy Marchese led the Titans with 15 points apiece while Feron Wallace had 14 and a game-high 10 rebounds.

Next up for SMUS in Saturday’s 6:15 p.m. title game: Young, hometown No. 1 seeds from Brookswood. The teams have split their two meetings with SMUS emerging victorious by 10 points in the first game and the ‘Cats winning the most recent meeting by a point.

“Honestly, right? Jordyn Nohr .. what else do you got to say about that,” said Brooke. “She is just a phenomonal scorer and they’ve got a winning culture. Winning breeds winning, winning breeds culture and… age is irrelevant. There are tons of teams here that are loaded with talented junior-aged players and it’s just where it’s at today in our province.”

If you’re reading this story or viewing these photos on any website other than one belonging to a university athletic department, it has been taken without appropriate permission. In these challenging times, true journalism will survive only through your dedicated support and loyalty. and all of its exclusive content has been created to serve B.C.’s high school and university sports community with hard work, integrity and respect. Feel free to drop us a line any time at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *