Abbotsford Senior Cap off an Extraordinary Season as 3A Champions
The Abbotsford Senior Panthers left the LEC victorious last night, branding the 1st place medals of a championship-winning team.
The Beginnings of a Championship Season
Winning the championship painted the final strokes on a masterful season which began in December with the 2022 Big Ticket tournament. The senior girls dominated the tournament and found themselves face-to-face with the Gators of Walnut Grove. The Panther would take down the top 4A squad 60-58 to win the Big Ticket, foreshadowing a championship performance at the end of the season.
The Final Push
The Panthers would begin their provincial run ranked second in 3A, slotting just behind their final opponent, the St. Thomas Collegiate Blue Jags.
Breezing through their first two games with back-to-back 24-point performances from Malia Lenz would result in a semi-finals competition with the 2022 champions, the R.A. McMath Wildcats.
The championship game awaited the Panthers, and only the reigning champs stood in their way.
Just when it mattered most, the Panthers showed they were ready to win it all. Lenz continued her dominance with 27 points, and beside her, Nyah Vermeulen scored 22.
One for the Ages
Fans filled the Centre Court at 5:45 PM to watch the crowing of a new champion. The Blue Jags and Panthers took to the court, and fans nervously looked on in anticipation of the jump ball.
The two teams went back and forth, trading baskets, with not one team giving an inch. Despite the score tied at 46 entering the final minutes of their seasons, it became evident that Lenz would not be denied.
Lens scored 12 points in the fourth quarter, willing the Panthers to a championship. With the sound of the final buzzer, the Panthers stormed the court in elation as the journey with one goal had reached a satisfying end.
The Panthers coaches and players etched their names in the history books with a provincial run that will echo in the history of the illustrious tournament.