The Langley Christian Lightning turned up the defensive pressure to strike down the GW Graham Grizzlies.
The Lightning held their Chilliwack opponent to a meagre 14 points in the second half en route to a 68-51 victory in the Fraser Valley 2A senior girls championship final on Saturday afternoon at Surrey’s Southridge School.
“For us to get it done, we have to play solid defence. A lot of our offence comes out of our defence. We try to work hard, get stops and get some steals,” said Langley Christian coach Danielle Gardner.
The Lightning were the top seed for Fraser Valleys and they crushed their first two opponents, winning 78-28 over the Burnsview Griffins and 56-26 against the Holy Cross Crusaders.
That set up a rubber match between Langley Christian and Graham — the top two teams at the Valley championships — as each squad had won once head-to-head.
And the Grizzlies took a slim 37-34 lead into the locker room before the Lightning clamped down defensively in the second half and used a 15-0 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to break open the game.
The Lightning were deadly from beyond the arc, hitting 11 three-pointers.
Hannah Krepp and Emma Hansen led the offence with 21 and 18 points, respectively.
This is the first season for the Lightning at the 2A level as the small private school voluntarily chose to move up a level after winning back-to-back provincial titles at the 1A level in 2015 and 2016.
“We knew we had some tough competition but a strong chance. This was definitely our goal, Gardner said.
“It is rewarding to do well. We moved up, we wanted the challenge to move forward with our program.”
Krepp was named the most valuable player of the Fraser Valley championships, while Katelyn Mallette — who was dominant on the boards and did a great job defensively on the Grizzlies’ top player — was a first team all-star.
Grade 9 guard Makenna Gardner was a second team all-star selection.
The Lightning now prepare for next week’s B.C. 2A provincial championships, which will be held at the Langley Events Centre from March 1 to 4.
Boaz Joseph Black Press
Langley Christian’s Hannah Krepp and G.W. Graham Grizzlies’ Deanna Tuchscherer battle for the ball in the senior girls 2A Fraser Valley final on Saturday at Southridge School.The Lightning won the Valley banner 68-51 with Krepp earning most valuable player honours.