Sports

Crusaders repeat at Fire Fighters

Fleetwood Park’s Simran Bir drives the ball through two Holy Cross Crusaders opponents during the championship game of the Surrey Fire Fighters’ Goodwill Classic at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary on Saturday night. The Crusaders won a second consecutive Fire Fighters’ championship with a 68-56 win. Bir was named the tournament’s Most Inspirational Player. - BOAZ JOSEPH / THE LEADER
Fleetwood Park’s Simran Bir drives the ball through two Holy Cross Crusaders opponents during the championship game of the Surrey Fire Fighters’ Goodwill Classic at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary on Saturday night. The Crusaders won a second consecutive Fire Fighters’ championship with a 68-56 win. Bir was named the tournament’s Most Inspirational Player.
— image credit: BOAZ JOSEPH / THE LEADER

After five seasons of domination by the Elgin Park Orcas, the Holy Cross Crusaders are on the verge of a string of championships at the Surrey Fire Fighters’ Goodwill Classic.

The Crusaders topped the Fleetwood Park Dragons 68-56 in Saturday night’s championship game of the all-Surrey senior girls high school basketball tournament at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary, the second consecutive championship by Holy Cross.

And making a run at the five straight Fire Fighters titles won by Elgin Park from 2006-10 is a possibility when considering the youth of the Crusaders squad.

“Last year was no surprise, but this year was a big surprise to a lot of people,” said Holy Cross head coach Steve Beauchamp, after his team outscored three opponents 231-101. “When you look our starting lineup with five grade 10s, you’re usually not considered a favourite.”

With just three Grade 12s on a roster of 13, the Crusaders dominated two opponents to advance to Saturday’s final, where Holy Cross took a 40-34 lead by half time and went on a 9-0 run midway through the second half for a 56-41 advantage.

A pair of Grade 10s did most of the damage. Tournament MVP (Most Valuable Player) Michelle Bos scored 26 points, including four treys in the second half, while Rachel Beauchamp added another 20.

“I know Fleetwood has some pretty good players who have done some provincial team stuff, so you knew it was going to be a competitive game,” said coach Beauchamp. “It was a nice outcome for us tonight. They showed a lot of composure and I was impressed with that.”

Simran Bir led the Dragons with 21 points, and would later be named the Most Inspirational Player of the tournament in addition to winning the  three-point shooting competition. Robeen Jaj chipped in with 12 points.

Only six teams were in the Axe division of the tournament, the more competitive of the two groups competing.

The Princess Margaret Lions won the 14-team Ladder division championship, defeating the Frank Hurt Hornets 49-43 in Saturday’s final.

Harjot Ladher of the Lions led all scorers with 18 points, with Lindsay Ogilvie leading Frank Hurt with 16. Ladher was later named the tournament MVP for the Ladder division.

Taylor Gaines of the North Surrey Spartans was the winner of the tournament’s Best Defensive Player award.

- Seven players received scholarships for post-secondary education. Receiving $750 each were Bethany Collins and Shannon Ferrier of the North Surrey Spartans, Michelle Zacharuk of Holy Cross, Harlene Randhawa of the Sullivan Heights Stars, Yiga Phuntsok of the Earl Marriott Mariners, Gagan Shokur of the Tamanawis Wildcats and Hillary Janssens of the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers.

- Fifteen players were named to the 2012 Firefighters Goodwill Classic Dream Team for demonstrating skill, team work and sportsmanship throughout the five-day tournament. Dream Team members are Ashley McTaggart of Sullivan Heights, Elijah La Cap of the Surrey Christian Falcons, Sukhleen Gill of the L.A. Matheson Mustangs, Alexis Sebok of the Johnston Heights Eagles, Shenjy Nand of the Guildford Park Sabres, Rosanna Castro of North Surrey, Chantal Colby of Earl Marriott, Janssens of Lord Tweedsmuir, Ogilvie of Fraser Heights, Meleena Dhak of Princess Margaret, Melissa Buettcher of the Elgin Park Orcas, Alli Buck and Beauchamp of Holy Cross, and Jaj and Shilpa Khanna of Fleetwood Park.

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