The opening day of the Junior Girls Basketball Provincial Invitational Tournament featured 32 games as the 24 teams jockeyed for position to see which eight would advance to the Championship Bracket, which eight would play in the Showcase Bracket and which eight would battle in the Rivalry Bracket.
And when the dust had settled all eight top seeds had advanced to the top bracket.
M.E.I. Eagles 42 Belmont Bulldogs 39
The M.E.I. Eagles held the Belmont Bulldogs to seven first-half points, building a 15-point cushion which came in handy as the Bulldogs stormed back, getting within a point before the No. 8 Eagles secured the 42-39 win over the No. 9 Bulldogs. Bree Neufeld scored 14 points in the victory while Mikayla Eadie had 15 in a losing effort, including 11 in the fourth quarter alone.
Dr. Knox Falcons 59 Seycove Seyhawks 25
Amelie Guignard’s 21 points led the Dr. Knox Falcons to the 59-25 win over the Seycove Seyhawks. Seventeen of those points came in the first half. The Seyhawks were playing their second game of the day as the No. 16 squad opened with a 38-31 win over the No. 17 Mount Baker Wild. Chloe Bradshaw scored 14 points in that game, including 10 (with two triples) in the decisive fourth quarter.
Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs 57 Yale Lions 29
The Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs put the game out of reach early with a 16-3 lead after eight minutes in a 57-29 win over the Yale Lions. Marah Dystkra had 14 to lead the No. 5 Bulldogs while Rebbeca Demeter had eight points for the Lions. No. 12Yale had played earlier in the day as well, advancing with a 46-33 win over No. 21 St. Thomas More Collegiate.
Brookswood Bobcats 57 Claremont Spartans 53
One of the closest games of the day was the No. 4 Brookswood Bobcats and No. 13 Claremont Spartans with the Bobcats earning the 57-53 win. The duo of Cassidy Buchanan (21 points) and Imaan Lali (18 points) led the way for Brookswood while Adia Pye had 15 for the Spartans. Claremont defeated Riverside 62-40 in their first game on Wednesday.
Walnut Grove Gators 39 Fleetwood Park Dragons 28
Hope Nystrom scored 14 points as the Walnut Grove Gators used a strong defensive second quarter where they allowed the Fleetwood Park Dragons just four points in the 39-28 victory for the seventh-seeded Gators. The No. 10 Dragons (who beat Duchess Park 42-25 earlier in the day) received 10 points from Manrit Randhawa.
Kelowna Owls 62 College Heights Cougars 42
Mekhila Brown had 19 points for the Kelowna Owls as the No. 2 seed was a 62-42 win over the No. 15 College Heights Cougars. The Cougars did have the deep ball working as they sunk seven three-pointers,
including four and a team-high 14 points from Rachel Loukes. College Heights also hit four from beyond the arc in their first game, a 52-39 win over No. 18 Brentwood College.
Heritage Woods Kodiaks 42 Kalamalka Lakers 16
The Kalamalka Lakers had already pulled off one upset on the day but could not make it two-for-two, falling 42-16 to the No. 6 Heritage Woods Kodiaks. The Kodiaks used a balanced attack as eight players found the scoresheet, and none reached double digits. The 22nd seeded Lakers had upset the No. 11 Seaquam Seahawks 59-51 earlier in the day.
St. Michaels University School Blue Jags 44 Sa-Hali Sabres 26
A 16-5 second quarter gave the No. 3 seeded St. Michaels’s University Blue Jags a double digit lead they would not surrender as they defeated the Sa-Hali Sabres 44-26. Lauren Rust had 17 points and Makena Anderson had 14 points for the Blue Jags. Jayse Matonivich countered with 10 for the Sabres. Sa-Hali was a 50-34 winner over Robert Bateman earlier in the day.
Seven of the top eight seeds advanced with the lone upset coming in the No. 8/9 matchup on day one of the BC Secondary School 3A Girls Championship.
The tournament kicked off on Wednesday at Langley Events Centre with round of 16 action, setting up Thursday’s quarter-final round.
No. 4 Argyle will face No. 5 South Kamloops (10:45 a.m.), top-seed Abbotsford battles No. 9 Duchess Park (12:30 p.m.), No. 3 R.A. McMath is up against No. 6 MEI (2:15 p.m.) and No. 2 Okanagan Mission draws No. 7 Valleyview (4:00 p.m.).
Abbotsford Panthers 98 Magee Lions 33
The Abbotsford Panthers were dialed in from long distance, sinking 10 triples in a 98-33 rout of the 16th seed Magee Lions. Marin Lenz was top scorer with 27 and four Panthers reached double digits. Maya Jurosevic had a dozen points for the Lions.
Duchess Park Condors 68 G.W. Graham Grizzlies 58
The Duchess Park Condors trailed for most of the first three quarters but opened the final period on a 15-4 run to take the lead as the No. 9 seed knocked off the No. 8 G.W. Graham Grizzlies. Logan Cruz finished with 27 points for the Condors, including 12 in the third quarter as her team trimmed a six-point deficit down to three. Sydney Owens had 16 points, which included four first-half three-pointers.
Argyle Pipers 71 Delta Pacers 30
After surrendering the first five points of the game, the Argyle Pipers exploded for the 71-30 win over the Delta Pacers. Holly Brewer (12 points) and Ryann Kristmanson (11 points) led a balanced attack for the fourth-ranked Pipers. Nava Hothi and Emma Webster scored seven points apiece for the Pacers.
South Kamloops Titans 52 Ballenas Whalers 42
The South Kamloops Titans closed the third quarter on a 13-0 run, turning a three-point deficit into a 10-point lead, which also happened to be the final margin of victory in their 52-42 win over the Ballenas Whalers. Kendra McDonald led the Titans with 18 points, Kiana Onyango had 16 and Fiona Brisco chipped in a dozen. Abigail Becker topped the Whalers with 18 points.
M.E.I. Eagles 66 Vernon Panthers 51
The M.E.I. Eagles built a 13-point lead through one quarter and maintained a double-digit deficit the rest of the way as they beat the Vernon Panthers 66-41. Gracie Comeau had 14 of her 25 points in that opening period while Taylor Ewert chipped in 14. Kelsey Watts and Ashley Budgen had matching 20-point efforts for Vernon.
R.A. McMath Wildcats 82 Mark R. Isfeld Ice 36
Five players reached double digits, led by 15 apiece from Abby Bodden and Kee Hohlweg as the R.A. McMath Wildcats beat the Mark R. Isfeld Ice 82-36. Harriette Cunningham had 15 points for the Ice.
Valleyview Vikings 66 Pitt Meadows Lady Marauders 45
Jaydyn Overwater’s 19 points paced the Valleyview Vikings to a 66-45 win over the Pitt Meadows Lady Marauders. Pitt Meadows countered with 17 points from Vanessa Lagrange.
Okanagan Mission Huskies 116 Charles Hays Rainmakers 22
Seven players reached double figures, led by Lily Pink’s 19 points, as the No. 2 Okanagan Mission Huskies crushed the Charles Hays Rainmakers 116-22. Payton Henry had 17 points in a losing effort.