’Cats fourth at provincials
At the start of the season, if someone had told the Brookswood Bobcats that they would finish fourth in the province, they likely would believe them.
"We would have said 'no way, we are not that good,'" relayed Bobcats coach Neil Brown.
The disbelief is largely due to the fact the team is relatively young, and not that they lack a championship pedigree. After all, a significant portion of this year's team captured the B.C. junior girls provincial basketball title last season.
The main reason fourth place seemed too high a goal is the fact the Bobcats are relatively young. Case in point: two of the team's core players are in Grade 9 and Grade 10, respectively.
The Bobcats senior girls basketball team was ranked first or second for much of the season but Brookswood dropped its final two games at the B.C. AAA championships last week at North Vancouver's Capilano University to finish fourth out of the 16-team teams.
Brookswood lost 72-63 to the York House Tigers in Friday night's semifinal and then dropped a 103-74 decision to the Riverside Rapids in Saturday's bronze medal affair. The Rapids were the tournament's top seed.
The South Kamloops Titans took spot over York House.
Against the Tigers, the ’Cats were tied at 34 at the half and led 51-48 going into the final quarter, but York House took control in the fourth, outscoring Brookswood 24-12 to win by nine points.
Amberlee Kavanagh led Brookswood with 16 points and 13 rebounds while Lindsay Wand had 15 points and nine boards, respectively.
Against the Rapids — who beat Brookswood in the Fraser Valley final — the ’Cats led 46-43 at the break, but Riverside exploded for 29 points in the third to seize control en route to a 29-point victory.
Wand had 17 points while Kelsey Santa Juana had a dozen points and Sydney Williams chipped in with 10.
In Brookswood's first two games at the tournament, they clobbered the Prince George Polars 84-28 and defeated the Yale Lions 70-51 in the quarter-finals.
Jessie Brown led the way in the first game with 21 points while Tayla Jackson had 17 points against Yale.
"When you come to a tournament like this, your weaknesses get exposed," Brown said.
"And they exposed some of ours."
The Bobcats main weakness was their youth.
"All those other teams have dominant Grade 12s," Brown said.
"You don't like losing ever, but you have to put it into perspective," he added, pointing out this was Brookswood's eighth top four finish at provincials in the past 11 years.
Luca Schmidt was named a first team all-star while Brown was an honourable mention.