’Cats fall in Valley final
To be the best, a team needs role players who are willing to sacrifice their bodies and get their noses dirty in the pursuit of victory.
Brookswood coach Neil Brown affectionately calls those players ‘grunts’ and they are key for a team to succeed, the ones who are on the front lines, doing the work that often goes unnoticed.
On Saturday, playing the W.J. Mouat Hawks in the Hawks’ home gym, the province’s top two teams — Brookswood came in second — squared off in the Fraser Valley AAA senior girls’ championship finale.
And for the third time in four meetings, it was the bigger, more physical Hawks prevailing, this time 78-63.
“We needed more grunts and less generals,” Brown said, about players getting their noses dirty instead of settling for outside shots.
“Mouat is a big team and they go after you; they make a lot of collisions happen.”
The problem in Saturday’s game was not enough players willing to be a part of those collisions and doing the other dirty stuff necessary.
“We played well,” Brown said.
The ’Cats were down just two at the half but looking back now, Brown says he also made a tactical error for the second half with his player rotations.
“I probably made a mistake and in hindsight should have mixed things up,” he said. “It was way too predictable on my part.”
Brookswood was also not helped by the fact they missed 10 free throws.
Katelyn Star led the ’Cats with 16 points, while Zoey Haramboure and Brittney Church each had 14.
Church, Luca Schmidt and Amber Kavanaugh were named to the all-star team.
Brown was pleased that two of his ‘grunts’, Schmidt — nine rebounds, eight assists in the final — and Kavanaugh — seven rebounds — were recognized for their contributions.
In the team’s earlier games, Brookswood blitzed Delta 121-34, and then downed Yale 80-54.
In the semifinals, they defeated Riverside 77-61.
The Bobcats will now prepare for the provincial championships, which run next week at North Vancouver’s Capilano University.
Walnut Grove was also at the Fraser Valley championships.
The Gators won their play-in game, 42-38 over Robert Bateman, before losing 66-41 to Mouat. Facing elimination in the double knockout format, Walnut Grove lost 51-21 to Gleneagle.
At the AA senior girls’ championships, both Langley Christian and D.W. Poppy lost in the quarter-finals.
Langley Christian fell 54-49 to Pitt Meadows while Poppy lost 85-58 to Rick Hansen.
And at the Single A championships, Credo Christian placed fourth, losing 78-47 to Southridge.