Basketball provincials: Mouat junior girls win gold, MEI Grade 8 boys take silver
At the start of the B.C. junior girls basketball provincials, the W.J. Mouat Hawks were flipping through the tournament program and noticed that no Abbotsford team had ever won that particular championship.
By week's end they had rectified the situation, capping a memorable season with a 41-29 victory over St. Thomas More in Saturday's title game at the Langley Events Centre.
The Hawks were especially dominant at the defensive end of the floor – none of their four opponents at provincials cracked the 30-point barrier.
"We were defensively amazing all week – we just played out of our minds," Hawks coach Paula Thompson said.
"And we were knocking down shots. We probably could have shot it from the bathroom stall and it would have gone in."
Amanda Thompson, the coach's daughter, was tourney MVP after scoring 14 points in the final, and Adina Oprea (first team) and Alicia Unruh (second team) were named all-stars.
The Hawks finished the season with a 44-1 record, their lone loss coming to the Riverside Rapids in the Fraser Valley title game the previous week. That defeat served to galvanize the Mouat girls going into provincials.
"It turned out to be a great loss for us," Thompson said. "It was one of those wake-up moments where they realized, 'We can't relent for a second. We have to work hard the entire game.'"
The Mouat girls basketball program clearly has a bright future – the Grade 9 squad won silver at their provincials the previous week.
EAGLES WIN SILVER
The MEI Eagles Grade 8 boys squad nearly won a provincial title of their own, but they settled for silver after dropping a dramatic 54-52 decision to the Kitsilano Blue Demons in Saturday's final at Pitt Meadows Secondary.
There were four lead changes in the final minute alone, but Kitsilano fended off the top-seeded Eagles in the dying seconds. MEI's Ty Rowell (pictured left) earned player of the game honours after racking up an eye-popping 34 points in the final, and he and Carson Bargen were named tourney all-stars.
"The boys were disappointed by the loss in the final game but with the memories of a 39-2 season, they will have lots good times to remember," said Eagles coach Pat Johnson, whose team's terrific campaign included gold medals at the Abbotsford City Police tourney and the Fraser Valleys.
BUSY WEEKEND OF BASKETBALL
The Eagles won their last game, blasting the Mt. Baker Wild 88-39 on Saturday morning behind a big game from their post duo of Taylor Claggett (31 points, 18 rebounds) and Tessa Ratzlaff (25 points, 24 rebounds).
Mouat's victory came by a score of 68-65 over Burnaby South on Friday. They finished the tourney with a 69-64 loss to the Prince George Polars, despite double-doubles from the M'Bikata sisters, Carmelle (25 points, 11 rebounds) and Penielle (16 points, 10 boards).
• The Howe Bulldogs finished sixth at Grade 8 girls basketball provincials, wrapping up the event with a 31-30 loss to Windsor in the fifth-sixth game. Gurbeen Toor was named an honourable mention all-star.
• The St. John Brebeuf senior boys were eighth at Single A provincials at UFV, knocking off B.C. Christian 67-51 in their finale on Saturday. Point guard E.J. Rabanes was an honourable mention all-star for the Bears, who gave top-seeded West Point Grey a scare in the quarter-finals – they led by double digits in the first half before ultimately falling 69-57.
• The Abbotsford Christian senior girls finished 14th at AA provincials in Kamloops. They posted a 1-3 record, beating J.L. Crowe 73-40 on Friday behind 17 points and 13 rebounds from Renee Bomhof.
• The Mouat Grade 9 boys dropped their provincial tourney opener to St. George's, but won their next four games with Jas Singh picking up multiple player of the game awards.