Unity Christian the team to beat in 1A basketball

UC's senior girls are the number one ranked team in B.C., a first in the school's history.

Two wins over their arch-rivals from Credo Christian have vaulted the Unity Christian Flames to the top of the provincial single-A senior girls’ basketball rankings.

While the Flames have been a powerhouse for several seasons, they’ve never occupied top spot.

They made their case to bump Credo’s Kodiaks out of top spot when they took them down by a 73-68 count in league play last week.

Both teams moved on to a cross-zone tournament at West Vancouver’s Mulgrave School last weekend.

After swatting aside the fourth-ranked Nechako Valley Vikings 84-44 in the tournament semi-final, the Flames faced Credo again with a gold medal on the line. The Kodiaks led by as many as 13 points in the first half, but the Flames went on a 26-6 run in the third quarter and eventually claimed a 69-66 win.

Grade 9 standout Kylie Kampman recorded 28 points and seven assists in the final.

Kylie and her sister, Kirsten, were both named tournament all-stars while Grade 10 guard Olivia Lounsbury was named tournament MVP.

“The best part of our team is that every player contributes, which is rare in 1A basketball,” said Unity Christian coach and principal Mike Campbell. “We have nine strong players, and there are so many girls who could win a tournament MVP or be a provincial all-star.

“And with only one grade 12 on the team, we hope to hold on to this number one ranking for a long time.”

The Flames have won 34 of their last 35 games and are averaging 84 points per outing.

They’ll be hosting 1A provincials this year, and Campbell believes they’re on a collision course with the Kodiaks.

Credo beat Unity Christian in overtime in last year’s provincial semi-final.

“Our toughest competition has come from Credo and Mulgrave, and barring injury those three teams will be battling for gold this March,” Campbell said. “It is always a packed gym whether we play at Credo or at Unity or at tournaments. Both schools’ fans travel well and the entertainment is worth the trip.”

Provincials run March 7-10. See bcssgba.ca for more info.

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