Holy Cross qualifies for Kamloops

Dominant in their first two games, the Holy Cross Crusaders were overwhelmed by the opposition in the championship game of the Fraser Valley Senior AA girls high school basketball tournament.

The Crusaders outscored their first two opponents by a combined 110 points to advance to the tournament final, but against the province’s top-ranked team, Holy Cross lost 76-45 to the Mission Roadrunners.

“The final was not the kind of game we wanted to have,” said Crusaders assistant coach Gianni Bittante. “Mission played very well, and we played poorly.”

A lack of rebounding proved costly to Holy Cross, ranked sixth in the provincial poll and the host team for the eight-team Fraser Valley tournament.

“We didn’t execute and we didn’t rebound well, and against a team like Mission, you have to rebound,” said Bittante. “Six of 10 shots that go up will be a miss. And if you can’t get those rebounds, you’re in trouble.”

The long-term goal of the Crusaders is striving for a provincial championship, and that goal is still alive.

So while a better performance was hoped for in Saturday’s final, the Crusaders will have no problem putting it behind them.

“The Fraser Valley tournament is a qualifying tournament, and we qualified,” said Bittante.

The Crusaders reached the final after a 78-30 win over the D.W. Poppy Redhawks of Langley.

Megan Schaufele paced the offence, scoring nine of her 15 points in the opening quarter which ended with Holy Cross ahead 26-8. Amy Beauchamp netted 14 points, with Bianca Palitti adding nine and Kim Damaso and Diana Wilson adding eight each.

Schaufele and Beauchamp were selected to the tournament’s first all-star team, while Palitti was a second-team choice.

While Holy Cross and Mission will be at the provincials March 5-8 in Kamloops, three other local teams saw their high school season come to an end at the Fraser Valley tournament.

The Fraser Valley Christian Falcons came within a game of advancing to a wild-card playoff game for a provincial berth. The Falcons fell 50-38 to D.W. Poppy on Saturday, after staying alive with a convincing 57-37 victory over the Archbishop Carney Stars on Friday evening.

The Falcons lost their semifinal game Thursday against Mission, falling 78-27. Ashley Ortlieb of the Falcons was a second-team all-star.

The Panorama Ridge Thunder were eliminated Friday night. After a first-round loss to Mission, the Thunder got an 18-point effort from Mehtab Rai to defeat the Robert Bateman Timberwolves 39-34 on Thursday. Panorama Ridge was eliminated 51-36 by D.W. Poppy on Friday. Rai was a second-team all-star.

The Sands Scorpions were eliminated in two straight games, bowing out Thursday with a 55-28 loss to Archbishop Carney. Jackie Hall and Kayla Deroche scored seven points each for the Scorpions.

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