Simrat Dosanjh of the Panorama Ridge Thunder goes for a layup while Thunder teammate Kuljit Johal (far left)

Simrat Dosanjh of the Panorama Ridge Thunder goes for a layup while Thunder teammate Kuljit Johal (far left)

Second-half rally lifts Thunder to championship

Panorama Ridge tops Lord Tweedsmuir in all-Surrey junior girls final

When it was over, Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers coach Curtis McRae couldn’t explain what had happened in the championship game of the B.C. Junior Girls High School Basketball Tournament.

“I don’t know what happened to be honest with you,” he said after his Panthers lost 54-32 to the Panorama Ridge Thunder, scoring just nine points in the second half.

“Sometimes that hoop loves you, and sometimes it doesn’t.

It clearly didn’t love the Panthers in the second half of Saturday afternoon’s game at the Langley Events Centre. Most onlookers expected a closer game between the two Surrey schools, considering Lord Tweedsmuir was seeded first and the Thunder second at the 16-team tournament and the Panthers edged Panorama Ridge 47-40 in the Fraser Valley championship game on Feb. 21.

And it was close for a while, with Lord Tweedsmuir leading 12-10 after one quarter. But after the Panthers extended their advantage to 28-20 early in the third quarter, the roof fell in.

Panorama Ridge scored nine consecutive points to take a 29-28 lead, then after Tweedsmuir got a bucket to regain the lead, the Thunder reeled off another 24 consecutive points and put the game well out of reach.

Simrat Dosanjh led all Thunder scorers with 14 points, including a trio of three-point buckets. Shelvin Grewal netted 11 points while Savannah Dhaliwal and Kuljit Johal added 10 each.

“Johal had the best game of her career today,” said Thunder head coach John Sowerby. “She had five steals, three of them for layups. She forced turnovers, she played the best game of her life.”

Ansah Odoom topped Panthers scorers with 12. Jessica Vidovic and Maryn Budiman scored eight each.

“We just didn’t finish. We didn’t capitalize on our opportunities and they capitalized on theirs,” said McRae. “The level of play was pretty even. They just hit their shots and we didn’t.”

Surrey North Delta Leader