The result didn’t matter, the smiles on the faces of her players is what counted for Fleetwood Park Dragons head coach Pam Reynolds.
Competing at the B.C. Senior AAA Girls High School Basketball Tournament, the Dragons won one of four games at the Langley Events Centre, finishing their run with a 61-56 setback against the Claremont Spartans Saturday afternoon.
Fleetwood Park fell behind early, trailing 15-4 five minutes into the game, and were down 54-34 before going on a 22-8 run to get to within four points before running out of time.
“It’s what we wanted, to finish in a positive sort of way,” said Reynolds. “We didn’t have a great first half but they came back in the second and did a very good job.”
Credited with a 12th-place finish at the 16-team tournament, Reynolds wasn’t too concerned about where the team placed. Just being there was enough of a reward.
“You don’t really remember the wins and losses, you remember your teammates,” Reynolds said. “The teams we played against when I played at provincials, I can’t remember. But I remember the bus rides and the good times. I hope that’s what they remember.”
Coming off a sixth-place finish at the Fraser Valley championship tournament, the Dragons lost 62-46 to the R.A. McMath Wildcats in the first round of the provincial tournament. They stopped the Mt. Baker Wild 76-41 in their first consolation game, before losing 62-50 to the Handsworth Royals.
A slow start hurt them against Claremont, but there were still some bright spots.
“Jada Jordan played real well today, she’s only in Grade 10 and she really stepped up her defense,” said Reynolds. “Every game, we had somebody step up, it’s been our signature all year. Simi Lehal, Simran Grewal, Jordyn Doi all stepped up.”
Point guard Cyrille Butac topped the Dragons scoring with 23 points, including 13 in the fourth-quarter rally. Grewal added 11.
n Some bad breaks – and perhaps a bit of complacency – knocked the Holy Cross Crusaders down to 13th place in the Senior AA girls provincial tournament, also at the Langley Events Centre.
Seeded fourth for the 16-team tournament, Holy Cross lost their first two games before winning the last pair. Head coach Steve Beauchamp predicted before the tournament there was a lot of parity among the teams, but added a better start would have improved their placing.
“The girls had a bit of a reckoning last night when they saw that three of the final four teams were catholic schools, and at the (B.C.) Catholic Championship,s we came second.
“It was an eye opener for them to see how close we really were, and I think it will bode well for us next year. The younger girls realize when we come to the provincials, you have to step up your game.”
The Crusaders lost 67-63 to the St. Thomas Aquinas Fighting Saints in their first round game, then were edged 59-56 by the Vernon Panthers on Day Two.
They turned things around with a 65-46 victory over the Caledonia Kermodes, before their final game, a 75-47 victory over the Southridge Storm.
“Hats off to all the girls, they really stepped up their game. It was nice to finish on a positive note,” said Beauchamp. “Everyone is here for a reason, and I think they realize that now.”
Grade 12 guard Nicole Vander Helm tallied 42 points for the Crusaders in their final game, with Naomi Vinluan adding 12 and Georgia Walley scoring 10.