The battle of Port Coquitlam – and more importantly, the provincial championship – went to the Terry Fox Ravens.
For the first time this season, the Ravens defeated their local rivals – the schools are less
than five kilometres apart – the Riverside Rapids, 77-75 in the BC School Sports 4A Girls Basketball Provincial Tournament on Saturday night at Langley Events Centre.
Terry Fox trailed 62-58 after three quarters but this team is no stranger to the big stage as the core of the current team had a perfect season in 2019 in capturing the Junior Girls Basketball Provincial Invitational Tournament championship title as Grade 9s before coming up one game short in the 2020 4A title game, playing at the senior level even though they were still in Grade 10.
Saturday’s championship final was a back-and-forth affair with the Ravens leading by 13 in the third quarter before the Rapids came racing back to go up four points to end the quarter as they rattled off a 19-2 run over the final 7:22 of the period.
“My kids love being in the big stage and as soon as they got to the LEC, they raised their level of play, and their intensity and their tenacity. They just have this will to win and that was the difference tonight,” said Ravens head coach Mike Carkner.
Terry Fox battled back in the fourth quarter to go up by 10 points but just went it looked like the game was over, Riverside roared back again, closing to two points and having possession, but ultimately turning the ball over as they scrambled to get a shot off in the dying seconds.
Ana-Maria Misic led the Ravens with 21 points and 15 rebounds, also adding four steals and three assists as she was named Championship Player of the Game.
Emily Sussex added 17 points while Lauren Clements also scored 17 while hauling in 15 rebounds. Clements – who scored 45 points in her team’s semi-final victory the night before against the No. 2 seed Okanagan Mission Huskies – was named the Most Valuable Player of the 4A Tournament.
“I was so glad for Lauren because she is such a great player, and I don’t think a lot of people have seen her perform like that. She was great tonight, but last night, those 45 points, she showed what she can do. She is one of the best two-way players in the province,” Carkner said.
Cerys Merton took home the Most Outstanding Defensive Player award. Merton was all over the stat sheet, showing her worth as she had seven points, nine rebounds, six assists and one steal. “She is the engine of our team. Our team runs when she runs. The last couple of weeks, she has cranked up the level of her game and she has been spectacular for us,” Carkner said.
Brooke Kendal led Riverside with 21 points and 10 rebounds while Venica Davignon had 14 points and 15 rebounds. Avery Sussex added 16 points, eight rebounds, seven steals, three assists and one blocked shot and Natalie Curley had 14 points and eight rebounds. Kendal and Davignon are the only two the team will lose to graduation and Avery Sussex is only in Grade 10.