One loss drops Crusaders to third place

Rachel Beauchamp (9) led the Holy Cross Crusaders in scoring at the B.C. Senior AA girls high school championships in Kamloops last week. - FILE PHOTO / THE LEADER
Rachel Beauchamp (9) led the Holy Cross Crusaders in scoring at the B.C. Senior AA girls high school championships in Kamloops last week.
— image credit: FILE PHOTO / THE LEADER

Most high school basketball teams with a starting lineup of four Grade 10s would be pleased with a third place finish at the provincial championships.

But while acknowledging it is quite an accomplishment, the Holy Cross Crusaders feel they could have done even more at the Senior AA girls tournament last week in Kamloops.

“You can look back on it and say it was a good week,” said Crusaders head coach Steve Beauchamp. “But there’s still a bitter taste. We felt we had a shot.”

The Crusaders posted three lopsided wins at the 16-team tournament, but the one loss – a 76-72 setback against the Lambrock Park Pride in Friday night’s semifinal contest – knocked them out of championship contention.

The Crusaders battled from behind all night long, trailing 23-18, 43-38 and 58-54 at the quarter breaks.

“Lambrick Park had a couple of big girls, they were six-two or six-three, so we changed our defence,” said Beauchamp. “But I think it got the girls out of synch, so we said forget about it and went back to zone defence.

“Then we got the lead with about four minutes to go. They only play five players so they looked like they were tiring and we were taking over. But we had four possessions where we didn’t do anything.”

Down 71-69 with a little more than a minute to play, Amy Sprangers hit a three-point shot to put Holy Cross in front with just 23 seconds to go.

Lambrick Park answered with a trey of their own, then stole the ball and scored on a lay-up with six seconds to go to put the game out of reach.

Rachel Beauchamp was a standout for the third straight game for the Crusaders, scoring 20 points and adding 11 rebounds. Michelle Bos also tallied 20 points, with Michelle Zacharkuk adding 15, Alli Buck contributing 13 and Alysha Bennett netting 10.

Holy Cross was back in form Saturday, clinching third place with a 76-40 victory over the Vernon Panthers. A pair of Grade 10 Crusaders starters had double doubles, with Beauchamp netting 25 points and 10 rebounds, and Bos tallying 22 points and 11 boards.

The Crusaders were in command from the start, leading 16-9 after one quarter and extending the lead to 35-20 by halftime.

Reaching the final four was not a difficult task.

The Crusaders, ranked third in the province, cruised past the Nechako Valley Viqueens of Vanderhoof 74-30 Wednesday afternoon. Grade 10 guard Sprangers led the winners with 19 points and 18 rebounds, while Beauchamp netted 21 points.  Bos also scored in double figures with 14 points.

The Crusaders whipped the Wellington Wildcats of Nanaimo 56-27 in a quarterfinal contest Thursday night. Beauchamp scored 27 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, with Bos adding 14 points and nine rebounds.

Bos was named to the all-tournament team, and Sprangers was an honourable mention.

Crusaders players and coaches were surprised Rachel Beauchamp was not among the tournament award winners, despite leading her team in scoring (93 points) and rebounds (46) in the four games played.

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