Sports

A double for Holy Cross

Holy Cross Crusaders guard Marlo Sotana drives to the basket against St. Thomas Aquinas Fighting Saints defender Matt Haff during the 24th annual BC Catholic Basketball Championships at Holy Cross Secondary last Thursday (Jan. 13) afternoon. The Crusaders won both the boys and girls championships for just the second time in tournament history.   - EVAN SEAL / THE LEADER
Holy Cross Crusaders guard Marlo Sotana drives to the basket against St. Thomas Aquinas Fighting Saints defender Matt Haff during the 24th annual BC Catholic Basketball Championships at Holy Cross Secondary last Thursday (Jan. 13) afternoon. The Crusaders won both the boys and girls championships for just the second time in tournament history.
— image credit: EVAN SEAL / THE LEADER

The fact the host Holy Cross Crusaders won a B.C. Catholic Schools Basketball Championship last weekend can be described as expected. And surprising.

The Crusaders girls team cruised to a fifth-straight championship Saturday night, defeating the St. Thomas Aquinas Fighting Saints 56-22. The title was their 10th in the 24-year history of the Catholic tournament.

But for the boys, their 53-46 triumph over the St. Thomas More Knights netted their first championship since 1997, and just the fourth ever for the Surrey school.

It was also just the second time in tournament history the Crusaders swept both championships.

The Crusaders girls, coming off a win at the Surrey Fire Fighters Goodwill Classic a week earlier, weren’t tested in their three-game run to the championship. The had no trouble with St. Anne’s Academy Thursday morning, winning 69-13, before getting past the Immaculata Mustangs 64-20 Friday evening.

“In fairness to the other teams, we came out and played hard every game,” said Crusaders head coach Steve Beauchamp. “The other teams did play up to our level at times, but they couldn’t keep up over a full game.”

Holy Cross also dominated the tournament awards, as Jeanneine Yngresso was the tournament MVP, Tessa Beauchamp and Jessica Villadiego were first-team all-stars, Cecile Ehman and Claudia Garzitto were second-team all-stars, and Villadiego captured the Best Defensive Player honour.

The boys team, a runner-up finish in 2006 their best result in the past decade, had an easy first game, but were tested in both the semifinal and the championship game.

They reached the final four by stopping St. Thomas Aquinas 56-36. They then won a pair of seven points games, including a 62-45 semifinal win over Immaculata Friday night.

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