A loss to the Panorama Ridge Thunder led to the KVR Express Grade 8 girls basketball team finishing fourth in the province.
The defeat in the semifinal was followed by a 41-28 loss to Elgin Park during the provincial championship held in Pitt Meadows March 7 to 9.
“We never really got up for the final game emotionally,” said Express coach René Aubin in an email. “The girls were chasing a championship and couldn’t recover from the semifinal loss.”
The Express advanced to the semifinal of the 16-team championship after defeating the Pitt Meadows Marauders 34-26 and the Dover Bay Dolphins from Nanaimo, 37-26.
In the semifinal against the Thunder, the No. 1 seeded team, the Express lost to the eventual champions 34-26. Aubin said the Thunder took an early lead and never looked back.
“The Panorama team is very good. They are big and talented,” said Aubin. “The scouting report on them was that their best player is their post. In order to have a chance to beat them we had to shut her down. We battled and Heidi Robertson and Olivia Tom did manage to shut down their best player (scored six points), but we ran into a hot shooter and we couldn’t contain her.”
Aubin also said he was proud of his players for keeping the Thunder to 34 points when other teams were unable to keep them under 50.
“The fact that we were the closest team to beating them is a badge of honour for the girls,” he said.
Cali Anderson of the Express was named to the tournament all-star Team.
“Cali is ‘Miss Consistent’,” said Aubin. “She is a well-rounded player, good on offence and defence alike. She makes good decisions and rarely makes mistakes that hurt the team. She was named as our season all-star and the honour of being named to the provincial’s all-star team is well-deserved.”