It was a victory for more than just the team.
The Britannia Bruins were down three points with a quarter to play but outscored the Langley Christian Lightning 23-12 over the final 10 minutes to capture the BC Secondary School 2A Girls Championship on Saturday at Langley Events Centre in front of a standing room-only crowd of 1,100.
A large chunk of that crowd were supporters for the inner-city Vancouver school.
“It is not just them. It is the whole Downtown Eastside, east side of Vancouver, the kids that go to our feeder schools,” said Britannia coach Mike Evans. “The people who are always trying to get better and often can’t quite make it because of circumstance, so to be champion of something … it is something profound.”
“It means a lot. It represents our Brit community. We were talking in the locker room, we were winning this for our Brit community,” said Shemaiah Abatayo. “We are not winning it for ourselves, we are winning it for the whole community because everyone is so supportive.”
The title was the first for Britannia since winning it all in 2012. The team placed eighth last year while Langley Christian won bronze and they were hoping to capture their first title at the 2A level (they have previously won at the 1A level).
Saturday’s game began great for the top-seeded Lightning as they opened on an 11-2 run although the second-seed Bruins had cut it down to two points by the quarter break. Britannia took a 41-37 lead at the half.
The third quarter saw Langley Christian jump ahead by eight points, but the Bruins had the deficit down three with 10 minutes to play.
The Lightning, however, could not buy a basket in the fourth, hitting just four of their 17 field goal attempts (23.5 per cent) with the Bruins putting up 23 points.
“We worked hard. We gave it our all but we just missed some shots, missed some lay-ups, some easy stuff which would have kept us a little closer down the stretch,” said Lightning coach Danielle Gardner. “That’s just the nature of the game.”
“They have some players who are pretty dynamic, and we were just trying to slow them down and contain them as best as we could.”
With that, our tournament comes to a close. Congratulations once more to our champions Dr. Knox.
For the full list of award winners visit: https://t.co/ZhA1845vOT
— BC Junior Girls Basketball (@BCJrGirlsBBall) February 29, 2020
Those dynamic players Gardner was referring to where Surprise Munie (30 points and 12 rebounds) and Abatayo (25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists). Abatayo would be named Most Valuable Player while Munie took home the tournament’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player award.
Jewel Leeson added 14 points and four rebounds while post players Tiana Sacco and Lagi Vaa combined for nine points, a dozen rebound and countless tipped balls, which their teammates were able to gather.
Makenna Gardner led the Lightning with 18 points and nine assists while Lainey Shelvey had 13 points and 10 boards and Ava Krepp finished with 17 points and six rebounds.
In the bronze medal game, the York House Tigers defeated the St. Thomas Aquinas Fighting Saints 65-57.
Dr. Knox (Junior Girls), Abbotsford (3A Senior Girls) and Semiahmoo (4A Senior Girls) were also crowned champions at their respective provincial basketball championships on Saturday at Langley Events Centre:
The Marin Lenz show continued for a fourth straight day, wrapping up with the Most Valuable Player award.
The Abbotsford Panthers guard was simply too much, scoring 44 points to lead her team to its first provincial title since 1984 with an 85-77 victory over the Okanagan Mission Huskies in the gold medal game at the BC Secondary School 3A Girls Championship on Saturday. More than 1,200 fans took in the action at Langley Events Centre.
When Allison McNeill first began coaching her current Semiahmoo Totems squad, she knew the talent was there, but never did she expect what has transpired over the past seven seasons.
On Saturday night in front of more than 1,200 fans at Langley Events Centre, the Totems dismantled the Terry Fox Ravens 114-62 to capture their second consecutive BC Senior Girls 4A Championship.
While winning a provincial title is always an impressive task, the Totems have done so without losing a single game in either campaign against B.C. competition. And it is not a matter of one player simply dominating to carry a team to a title as Semiahmoo has two championships with different players earning the Most Valuable Player Award.
Practice makes perfect and while they were not perfect, it certainly did pay off for the Dr. Knox Falcons.
Trailing the St. Michaels University School (SMUS) Blue Jags by one point with just over six minutes remaining, the Falcons scored their final nine points (all from the free throw line) to capture the school’s first-ever championship at the Junior Girls Basketball Provincial Invitational Tournament on Saturday at Langley Events Centre. The final score was 52-48.
All-Stars and Awards
Nadeen Wu (York House), Jessica Clarke (St. Thomas Aquinas), Sydney Bradshaw (Langley Christian), Gemma Cutler (St. Thomas Aquinas) and Makenna Gardner (Langley Christian) were named First Team All-Stars.
Lainey Shelvey (Langley Christian), Marijke Duralia (St. John Brebeuf), Cassiel Penalosa (St. Thomas More Collegiate), Avery Ratcliffe (York House) and Gigi Gaspar (St. Thomas More Collegiate) were the Second Team All-Stars.
The Prince Charles Bulldogs were named the Most Sportsmanlike Team.