Langley Christian Lightning strikes for Valley title
For the first time in more than a decade, the Langley Christian Lightning have captured the Single A Fraser Valley senior girls basketball title.
The Lightning did so on Saturday at Hope Secondary with a 38-34 victory over the Credo Christian Kodiaks.
“Our defence was really good and came through in the clutch,” said Lightning coach Danielle Gardner.
The Lightning were seeded fourth for the playoffs, while Credo Christian was second. And after an opening round 76-40 win over No. 5 Agassiz, Langley Christian pulled off the upset, beating the top-ranked Unity Christian Flames 56-33.
In the other semifinal, Credo crushed Hope 63-26 to set up the all-Langley final.
While the Lightning may have been a lower seed, when they played Unity and Credo during the season, the games were all competitive and witin single digits.
So the victories were not a complete surprise.
But as has been the case all season, the Lightning defence came through.
“We have played good solid defence all season,” said Gardner.
Both Langley and Credo have qualified for the provincial championships, which run March 6 to 9 in Prince George. Unity faced a wild-card game, which they won, to make it three Valley teams in the field.
“Our goal was to definitely make the playoffs,” Gardner said.
The key was the players believing in the message.
“It was more just buying in to play as a team,” she said.
“They worked hard and they never gave up.
“They just bought in.”
The Lightning’s Megan Hummelman and Sarah Walter both earned all-star awards.
Credo’s Kristen Schouten earned most valuable player award honours.
“We were definitely hoping for first, but the games we had with Langley Christian were always close,” said Kodiaks’ coach Art de Leeuw.
“(But) finishing second in the Fraser Valleys still caps off a very enjoyable season.”
Gary Ahuja/Langley Times
Credo Christian Kodiaks' Kristen Schouten goes up for the shot during a league game earlier this season against B.C. Christian. Schouten was named most valuable player at the Single A Fraser Valley championships as her team placed second.