Prior to the title game at the B.C. Grade 8 girls basketball championship at Pitt Meadows Secondary on Saturday, W.A. Fraser Falcons coach Chris Harvey was approached by members of the tournament all-star committee with an unusual request.
They were seeking guidance from Harvey because the Falcons’ roster is so deep and balanced, they were having trouble discerning which players were the standouts.
Harvey took it as a compliment, and his team went on to defeat Sullivan Heights 42-39 to claim the program’s first provincial title.
“It was really a team effort throughout the entire tournament,” Harvey said. “It’s not just one girl who stands out. This team is balanced from top to bottom. We’re built on being a deep team.”
The Falcons had wins over KVR Middle of Penticton (60-18), Lord Byng (43-25) and York House (39-29) en route to the final, where they met Surrey league champ Sullivan Heights.
Fraser fell behind 25-17 in the third quarter, but they got hot offensively at that point, reeling off a 22-6 run to go up 39-31. The Falcons had to weather a barrage of late three-pointers from Sullivan Heights, including two shots from beyond the arc that could have tied it up in the dying seconds, but hung on for the win.
“It was a pretty exciting moment,” Harvey said. “The girls were thrilled, and I think I was as excited as them. I’ve had this team since they were in Grade 6, so it’s been a three-year journey.”
Tourney MVP Sapna Deo racked up 19 points vs. Sullivan Heights, while player the game Sarah Thiessen chipped in with nine. Brianna Utas and Madison Draayers were first and third team all-stars, respectively.
• MEI finished fifth at Grade 8 girls provincials – after falling 43-28 in the quarter-finals to Sullivan Heights, they wrapped up the tourney with wins over Carson Graham (33-27) and Maple Ridge (32-17). Sierra Joiner was a second team all-star, and Teagan Boughen was a third-teamer.
• The Grade 8 boys provincial tourney was also contested at Pitt Meadows, and Fraser and MEI finished seventh and ninth, respectively.
The Falcons won their first game over Okanagan champ Clarence Fulton, but lost the next two to eventual silver medalist Argyle and St. George’s. They finished up with a 48-42 win over Kitsilano in the seventh-eighth placing game.
MEI lost their opener to Handsworth, but rallied to win their next three games, capped by a 57-56 triumph over Notre Dame.
Fraser’s Bradley Braich was a second team all-star, while MEI’s Noah Nickel was a third-teamer.
• The W.J. Mouat Grade 9 boys team finished 13th at their provincials in Vancouver.
The Hawks dropped their first two games to Lord Byng (44-17) and Sentinel (59-58), but bounced back with wins over St. John’s (58-32) and Oak Bay (56-45).
Jagvir Malhi and Kavin Toor picked up player of the game awards, and Malhi was an honourable mention all-star.