The Heritage Woods Kodiaks have faced no shortage of adversity this season — but again and again, they find ways to persevere and keep their season alive.
Take Tuesday, February 18th as an example. The Kodiaks had just come out of their most heartbreaking loss of the season, a 65-60 nail biter against the Burnaby South Rebels. With a chance to take 3rd place at the Fraser North championships and book their ticket to the provincials, everything that could go wrong went wrong. Starting guard Lauren Tomlinson was stretchered off with a neck injury (that was thankfully non-threating and non-serious), and a rattled Kodiaks team couldn’t close out the game.
Just two days later on February 21st, the Kodiaks put that all aside and thrashed North Surrey 113-57 to clinch a wildcard spot in the 4A Provincial Tournament. The Kodiaks were led by seven threes and 29 points from senior guard Jenna Griffin, five threes and 15 points from the fast-recovering Tomlinson, and whopping 20-point 30-rebound double-double from senior centre Kiara Kozak.
It was a wild ride to the Big Dance, especially for a team that was ranked as a top ten team in the province for the entire season. However, the Kodiaks certainly proved they belong among the elite on Wednesday, easily beating the number nine seed Earl Marriot Mariners 81-53 to advance to the next round of the BC’s. Griffin, who often leads the team in scoring, once again topped the scoresheet with 26 points. Kozak double-doubled with 12 points and 15 rebounds and guard Maddie Falk poured in four threes and 18 points.
The next task for the Kodiaks? The number one seed Semiahmoo Totems. It will be a tough challenge, especially with senior guard (and usual starter) Maddy Counsell still recovering from an ACL sprain sustained on January 10th.
But the Kodiaks are no strangers to pulling off upsets. Tuesday, February 4th is a prime example. The Kodiaks faced the number four ranked (at the time) Terry Fox Ravens on their senior night and dominated the game, ultimately winning 68-44. It just goes to show how capable this Kodiaks team is when they are at their best.
Although Semiahmoo is the overwhelming favourite to win on Thursday, this season proves you can never quite count out the Heritage Woods Kodiaks.
Written by: Aly Dhanani