Sports

’Cats can’t conquer Rapids

When push came to shove, the Brookswood Bobcats had no answer to the Riverside Rapids.

“If the referees let it get physical — which I am fine with, because I quite like physical basketball — we will play, but if they don’t back down or the refs don’t call the game tighter, we tend to back down,” said Brookswood coach Neil Brown.

“(Riverside) played the game how I like the game played.”

Brookswood was the top seed at the senior girls AAA Fraser Valley championships, while Riverside was ranked second. They were also one-two in the provincial rankings.

And they met in the Fraser Valley final on Saturday at Abbotsford’s W.J. Mouat.

After a close first half, the Rapids took control in the third quarter en route to a 55-42 victory.

Sydney Williams led Brookswood with 15 points and eight rebounds while Tayla Jackson had nine points and 18 rebounds.

It marked Riverside’s fourth victory in six tries against Brookswood.

A big difference between the two teams is that while Riverside is largely made up of Grade 12s, the Bobcats are younger, including relying on one player in Grade 9 (Jackson) and another in Grade 10 (Jessie Brown, the coach’s daughter).

Jessie Brown earned an all-star award, as did Luca Schmidt.

And while Riverside reveled in the physical play, Brown said his team was unable to stay focused on the game plan and got caught taking reactionary fouls.

But those are to be expected from a young squad.

“All season long, we have said you can’t put an old head on young shoulders,” Brown said.

The loss could also have a silver lining.

“Sometimes when you sit there and say ‘this doesn’t work, young kids look at you and go, are you kidding, we just won the big tournament?’” Brown said.

The coach was impressed the players came in on Monday and lifted weights for an hour as they ready for the provincial championships in North Vancouver, which run March 7-10 at Capilano University.

The Bobcats open the tournament against Prince George.

•••••

The Walnut Grove Gators were also at the Fraser Valley championships but saw their season end after going 1-2.

The Brookswood junior girls finished fifth at their Fraser Valley tournament.

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