The Maple Ridge secondary junior girls basketball team are off to the provincial championships after a strong performance at the Fraser Valley championships last weekend.
Things did not start well for the No. 6-seeded junior Lady Ramblers, however, as they dropped their first contest of the tournament 51-38 to the No. 3-ranked Yale Lions. Despite a solid effort throughout the game, foul trouble and missed lay-ups contributed to the loss. Kirby Marchand led the Ramblers with 15 points while sister Shara Marchand chipped in nine points.
The Ramblers regrouped and bounced back on Friday with a physical 51-36 win against the Walnut Grove Gators. The Ramblers pulled ahead in the fourth quarter with intense defensive play. Devan Cousins was a key factor in the Ramblers victory with 19 points, while Kirby Marchand contributed 15.
Saturday Morning, the Ramblers faced No. 4-seeded Holy Cross, losing 60-51 to the much taller team. Kirby Marchand came out with 19 points, followed by Cousins with 11.
The loss to Holy Cross set up a do or die situation for the Ramblers Saturday night, as they faced Yale secondary once again, the winner of the match-up getting the final berth at provincials.
Maple Ridge trailed the Lions 29-17 at half, but came out inspired in the third quarter. The added intensity help the Ramblers draw fouls, which brought them a number of free throw opportunities.
However, with 4:32 left to play, the team was still down by 10 points.
That deficit soon vanished as a couple of key steals from Melissa Fung enabled Ridge to go on a 10-0 scoring run. Clutch shooting from Danica Severinski and Cousins helped the Ramblers tie the game and force overtime.
The Ramblers kept rolling in the extra frame, when Kirby Marchand nailed a three-pointer with one minute to go to seal the win and the unexpected berth at the B.C. finals. Kirby Marchand led the team with 27 points, followed by Shara Marchand with 12.
The B.C. junior girls’ provincials run March 10 to 12 at the University of the Fraser Valley’s Envision Centre in Abbotsford.