Pursuing perfection

Jasmine Grewal (4) of the Tamanawis Wildcats steps around a Chilliwack Storm opponent during a Fraser Valley playoff game. The Wildcats won the Grade 8 girls Fraser Valley championship. - EVAN SEAL / THE LEADER
Jasmine Grewal (4) of the Tamanawis Wildcats steps around a Chilliwack Storm opponent during a Fraser Valley playoff game. The Wildcats won the Grade 8 girls Fraser Valley championship.
— image credit: EVAN SEAL / THE LEADER

An unbeaten season isn’t yet perfect.

The Panorama Ridge Thunder have struck down every opponent in the current Grade 8 girls high school basketball season. But four more wins still stand between them and a provincial championship.

The Surrey school is 24-0 in league, tournament and playoff action, and last week won four consecutive games by an average of 18 points to win the Fraser Valley championship.

The Thunder clinched the title with a 44-26 win over the C&G Howe Bulldogs Monday night in Maple Ridge.

“It was probably a generous score,” said Thunder coach Marcy Shaw. “We had our bench in for the entire fourth quarter.”

Nobody has touched Panorama Ridge this season. They won all eight league games by an average score of 41-14, and all 24 wins have been by double-digit margins.

At a Fraser Valley playoff, the Thunder hosted and defeated the Chilliwack Storm 51-24 in a sudden-death game to qualify for the zone tournament. In Maple Ridge, they opened with a 48-33 win over the Semiahmoo Totems, then topped the Brookswood Bobcats 43-29 in what was the closest game they would have over the three days.

“We have six or seven players who are just phenomenal athletes,” said assistant coach John Sowerby, noting point guard Jasmine Grewal is the team leader. “What an athlete. She averages 11 steals a game.”

“It’s amazing the way she sees the floor, and she’s very good defensively,” added Shaw. “She’s an amazing athlete.”

Kajal Parmar of Panorama Ridge was named the Most Valuable Player of the Fraser Valley tournament, with Zoe Makrigiannis – the Thunder’s five-foot-eleven post - named to the first all-star team.

Panorama Ridge will pursue a provincial championship at a 16-team tournament March 6-8 in Pitt Meadows.

- The Pacific Academy Breakers placed sixth at the Grade 8 tournament in Maple Ridge, losing two of three close contests. After a 40-37 loss to the Brookswood Bobcats, the Breakers came back to edge Semiahmoo 53-52. They then dropped a 44-27 decision to the Delta Pacers on Monday. Katie Woo and Tresyre Stevason of Pacific Academy were selected to the second all-star team.

- The Tamanawis Wildcats lost in the final of the Fraser Valley Grade 8 boys tournament, falling 55-30 to C&G Howe Monday night at Tamanawis Secondary School.

The Wildcats pulled off two upsets along the way to the championship game. After a 58-32 victory over the Maple Ridge Ramblers, the 10th-seed Tamanawis team upended the seventh-seed Brookswood Bobcats 58-36 in a sudden-death playoff to get into the eight-team tournament.

As the host team, the Wildcats surprised the second-seed Archbishop Carney Stars 53-51 in the first round, then toppled the W.A. Fraser Falcons of Abbotsford 59-28. Tamanawis will compete at the provincial tournament March 6-8 in Pitt Meadows.

Manny Dulay of the Wildcats was named to the tournament all-star team.

- A 35-33 win over the Chilliwack Storm gave the Clayton Heights Nightriders a fifth place finish at the Fraser Valley Grade 9 girls tournament at Abbotsford Traditional School Saturday evening.

The Nightriders won two of four games at the eight-team competition.

- Two Surrey teams finished among the top four at the Fraser Valley Grade 9 boys tournament at Walnut Grove Secondary School in Langley.

The Enver Creek Cougars were the top seed for the competition, but lost the championship game 52-48 to the Pitt Meadows Marauders.

The Tamanawis Wildcats lived up to their status as the fourth-seed, losing to the Dr. Charles Best Blue Devils 43-40 in the playoff for third place.

Both Enver Creek and Tamanawis will compete at a provincial tournament March 6-8 in Abbotsford.

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