The reigning finalist Riverside Rapids are on to Friday’s semifinals at this year’s Quad A girls basketball provincial championship, thanks to the No. 3 seeds from Port Coquitlam downing the No. 6 Kelowna Owls 59-46 Thursday afternoon at the Langley Events Centre.
On Friday, Riverside will meet the winner of a later Thursday matchup between the No. 2 Burnaby Central Wildcats and No. 7 Okanagan Mission Huskies of Kelowna. Friday’s other semifinal will feature the winner between the No. 1 Walnut Grove Gators of Langley and No. 9 Claremont Spartans of Victoria and between the No. 4 Yale Lions of Abbotsford and the No. 5 Seaquam Seahawks of Delta.
Riverside lost 77-75 to the crosstown rival Terry Fox Ravens in last year’s championship tilt. They have several players back this season, led by Avery Sussex, Jorja Hart and Natalie Curley.
Kelowna was up 32-31 in the third quarter Thursday, but Riverside outscored the Owls 28-14 after that. Sussex finished with 27 points, Annabelle Neufeld supplied 14.
Mav Chahal tallied 19 points for Kelowna.
“I learned that we can win a game where we’re not at our best,” said Riverside coach Paul Neufeld. “Peter (Guarasci, Kelowna’s coach) did an outstanding scouting job. He was very good. He made everything super hard.”
Sussex added: “We always have a target on our back. We always have something to lose. But we’ll say it is our redemption season. We’re here to win and prove who we are after last season.”
Sussex also admitted that “there are a lot of good teams.”
“Anybody can win. It’s whomever has their best game,” she said.
The LEC is also hosting the Double and Triple A tournaments.. in Double A, No. 3 Pacific Academy of Surrey is onto the semifinals after beating the No. 6 Notre of Vancouver 75-70. The other quarters were being worked out Thursday. In Triple A, the semis are set, with No. 1 St. Michaels University School of Victoria taking on No. 4 South Kamloops and No. 2 Abbotsford going up against No. 3 R.A. McMath of Richmond. SMUS beat No. 8 Little Flower Academy of Vancouver 68-35, South Kamloops ousted No. 5 MEI of Abbotsford 67-36, McMath dumped No. 6 Sa-Hali of Kamloops 48-36 and Abbotsford outlasted No. 10 Argyle of North Vancouver 79-54.
MORE TO COME
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