Updated: Mar 1, 2018
Heritage Woods will be making their first appearance in the BC Senior Girls Championships. This season, the Kodiaks finished 10-0 in the Coquitlam district, as well as winning the Coquitlam Championship. They are led by standout guards Hailey Counsell, who is averaging 22 points per game, and Jenna Griffin, a grade 10 who is averaging 20 points per game.
They will be facing Kelowna in the first round of the tournament. Kelowna is one of the tournament favourites and features Arizona State commit Taya Hanson and Kennedy Dickie — so it will be a challenge for the Kodiaks.
The Argyle Pipers are looking to continue their excellent play this week, coming into provincials hot off a buzzer beater win over the Carson Graham Eagles in the Crehan Cup Lower Mainland Championships. The Pipers defeated the Eagles in a tightly contested battle, with wing Chloe Walton draining a corner 2 with 0.1 seconds remaining to secure the Lower Mainland AAA title.
“When we got to the North Shore playoffs, we ended up having to beat both teams. We beat Handsworth, then went to Carson and beat them in their gym to win the North Shore title. When we went to Lower Mainlands, we went up against one of the top coaches, Doug Woodward [of the New West Hyacks], and we actually played probably our best game of the year so far,” elaborates Head Coach Anthony Beyrouti.
The Pipers are heating up at the perfect time and everyone associated with the program is excited about this coming week of the AAA provincials.
“To see them start where they were and then kind of slide right into playing really high quality basketball down the stretch has been really fun,” says Beyrouti.
Argyle is looking to start off their provincial run on the right foot, winning their first game against the Yale Lions, who had to win a play in game to qualify.
The Yale Lions are coming into the AAA provincial tournament this week after placing sixth in the Fraser Valley tournament. With a loss to Walnut Grove in the Fraser Valley Second Round, the Lions needed to win their next game to keep their provincial hopes alive.
They went on and defeated Abbotsford school MEI and that placed them in an intense matchup with the Brookswood Bobcats. With 6 seconds left in that game, and the score tied 66-66, the Lions’ Tana Pankratz took an inbound pass and hit a buzzer beater floater, giving them the victory and a spot in the fifth place game.
With only 5 teams guaranteed a spot in the provincials, the Lions battled a tough Riverside team till the end, narrowly losing 70-69. Riverside took the victory and the last guaranteed spot from the Fraser Valley.
Nonetheless, the Lions had one last chance to make it to the big dance through a backdoor wildcard game against Nanaimo, in which they dominated and came out with not just the victory, but a spot in the provincials.
If you’re looking for a favourite in this year’s AAA girls provincial championship, the Oak Bay Bays have to be near the top of the list. They completed another dominant regular season and now have their eyes set on a provincial title.
“We went 8-0 in Lower Island (Victoria) league play, then won the City Championship by eight over Claremont” said Rob Kinnear on his regular season talking to BC Sports Hub. “We then won the Island Championships again beating Claremont in the finals, this time by seven points. We were up 19 in the fourth and they made a huge run to get it within five.”
One of the keys for Oak Bay heading into provincials is to translate their dominance from the regular season into tournament play. It’s a different atmosphere altogether in the Langley Events Centre, but Kinnear feels his team is up for the challenge.
One of the Bay’s standout players is Georgia Alexander. One of the top 20 grade 12 players according to BC Sports Hub, she will likely be a force during this provincial tournament.
“She is a matchup nightmare as she is 6'3 with great post moves, but can shoot it out to the three point line and attack from there with ease. It is nearly impossible to guard her with one player, you usually need to double in the post, and bring help if she is on the perimeter.”
The Brookswood Bobcats will be in tough against Oak Bay in the first round of the AAA girls Provincial Championships. Brookswood finished seventh at the Fraser Valley regionals, while Oak Bay finished first in the Vancouver Island tournament. Last year, they finished third and had current Gonzaga freshman Louise Forsyth to rely on.
This year, they are led by standout guard Jenna Dick — Brookswood will most likely have to rely on her offensively. If they win, they will have to face Semiahmoo or New Westminster, two strong programs.
The Semiahmoo Totems may be young, but they have had great success so far this season. They finished 25-7 and are ranked fifth in the AAA girls provincial rankings.
A terrific regular season, and even more impressive when you realise that they have six different grade nine’s on their team Izzy Forsyth, Deja Lee, Tara Wallack, Rashaun Bindra, Nicole Pajic, and Emma Wubbs. All of them played together on a team that won the invitational Grade 8 BC Tournament last season.
But this team also has a veteran presence that will be key if they want to advance. Players like Faith Dut, a 6’3 post player should be leaned on to make a potential deep run. The lone Grade 12 on the team is Priya Gillan, who recently committed to play soccer at I