Walnut Grove Gators win pair of titles at district basketball finals

Up next, the Eastern Valley Championships.

Walnut Grove Gators won a pair of titles, as well as finishing second once and third in another division to lead the way among Langley schools as the District basketball playoffs wrapped up Friday, Feb. 7.

Walnut Grove and Brookswood each had three teams vying for titles in the four divisions (Grade 8 boys and girls and Junior boys and girls) while Langley Christian entered two teams into the mix as the Langley District Athletic Association basketball finals wrapped up on Thursday at Langley Events Centre.

Up next, for those who qualified from the district, will be the Eastern Valley Championships.

READ ALSO: Walnut Grove Gators fall in provincial basketball semifinals

Grade 8 girls

The Langley Christian Lightning scored the game’s first 21 points as they cruised to a 76-23 win over the Brookswood Bobcats.

The duo of Grace Bradshaw of Colette VanderHoven was unstoppable with each scoring 26 points apiece to lead the Lightning.

Kierra Blundell led the Bobcats with 15 points.

The final was a matchup of the top team during the regular season (Langley Christian which went 8-0) and the third-place Bobcats (7-2).

Walnut Grove avenged their semifinal loss by defeating Langley Fundamental in the third-place game.

READ ALSO: High-scoring Trinity Western University basketball player Ja’Qualyn Gilbreath ruled ineligible for entire season

Grade 8 boys

A three-pointer to open the second quarter by Mason Driediger gave the Brookswood Bobcats a 14-12 lead but the Walnut Grove Gators responded with a 15-0 run on their way to a decisive 62-33 victory.

The teams were separated by just one point after that first quarter before Walnut Grove clamped down defensively, allowing just 17 points the rest of the way.

The Gators were good on nine-three pointers.

Kaizer Nystrom scored 11 of his game-high 23 points in the third quarter to lead Walnut Grove.

The teams entered the playoffs with the Gators seeded first at 8-0 and Brookswood second at 8-1.

In the third-place game, the H.D. Stafford Skyhawks scored the final seven points to edge the Langley Christian Lightning 40-39.

Junior girls

Brookswood Bobcats put up 20 points in the opening quarter while holding their opponent, the Walnut Grove Gators, off the scoresheet to set the tone early in a 53-32 Brookswood victory. The win comes just nine days after the Gators pulled out a three-point victory over the same Bobcats squad to secure top spot at 6-0 over Brookswood (5-1) heading into the District playoffs.

Cassidy Buchanan led a balanced Brookswood attack with 17 points while Emily Povey had 13. Isobel McNeill and Emma Slade scored nine apiece for Walnut Grove.

The R.E. Mountain Eagles held off the Credo Christian Kodiaks 39-35 in the third-place game as the Kodiaks attempted to rally from a 12-point deficit over the final eight minutes.

Junior boys

After seeing their 21-point halftime lead whittled down to five in the fourth quarter, the Walnut Grove Gators responded with a 17-2 run as they knocked off the Langley Christian Lightning 71-53.

Walnut Grove was held to just 10 points in the third quarter while the Lightning’s Daniel DeHeer-Amissah scored 15 of his team-high 18 points in that eight-minute span. The Gators were led by Callum Neily had 18 and Camron Lockyer had 15 points.

The teams entered the District playoffs with Walnut Grove (6-0) and Langley Christian (5-1) seeded one-two.

The R.E. Mountain Eagles picked up third place thanks to a 62-52 win over the Langley Saints.

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