Langley Christian took bronze at the annual Girls Tsumura Basketball Invitational at the Langley Events Centre on Saturday night (Dec. 14), downing the Kelowna Owls 56-44.
In the third-place game, Lightning trailed just once, by two points, at the half.
Lightning were led by 17 points from Kathryn New and 15 courtesy of Makenna Gardner.
Kassidy Day had 10 points for the Owls.
In the semifinals lead-up, Lightning was unable to get past the eventual champion Okanagan Mission Huskies, who used their height inside to thwart the Lightning for the 59-40 final score.
When the Huskies played the Britannia Bruins for the championship, they scored the game’s first nine points before Britannia finally got on the board with half a quarter to play.
Bruins battled back and closed the gap to four with 10 minutes to play and then took a 55-54 lead with 64 seconds remaining.
Huskies player Makenna Jacklin got the win, a corner three-pointer, with 20.3 seconds to play.
“As soon as it left my hand, I knew it was good, that it was going in. That’s the money ball,” Jacklin commented.
Final score: 88-85.
“Makenna has wanted to hit a three all weekend, but she has struggled with her shooting. That one was clutch, beyond clutch,” enthused Huskies head coach Megan Faust.
Lily Pink earned MVP honours for the Huskies and while her 25 points led all scorers, she was also a force defensively.
“We were definitely stressing but we just had to calm each other down and keep going,” said the Grade 11 forward of the message to the young team which has just two Grade 12s and carries four Grade 10s among its ten players.
The victory was also a way for the Huskies – ranked first among all the Triple-A schools in the province – to prove they are worthy of that ranking.
“We just wanted to come in and prove ourselves. Everybody doesn’t think OKM is the team to beat and we want to prove that we are the team that people need to watch out for,” she said.
It is a sentiment echoed by her coach.
“It is a way to prove that we are here and a force to be reckoned with in the province. We work really hard and we have set some goals for ourselves and I can tell they want to achieve every single one and nothing will stop them,” Faust said.
The top three finishers at the 20-team tournament were all either Double-A (Britannia and Langley Christian) or Triple-A (Okanagan Mission) in a field stacked with many of the top Quad-A schools.
Last year’s defending champions, Langley’s Walnut Grove Gators, scored a 93-62 win over the R.A. McMath Wildcats to capture fifth place.
In the seventh/eighth place game the Yale Lions edged the St. Thomas More Collegiate Knights 48-46.
The Terry Fox Ravens were 76-65 winners over the Riverside Rapids in the ninth-place game while Heritage Woods Kodiaks topping the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers 67-56 to take 11th.
Playing in the consolation round, Brookswood Bobcats defeated Panorama Ridge Thunder 77-75.
In the other consolation round games, Fleetwood Park Dragons defeated Valleyview Vikings 73-69, Argyle Pipers defeated Earl Marriott Mariners 71-60 and Burnaby South defeated G.W. Graham 66-56.
Photos by Gary Ahuja/Langley Events Centre