Sports

’Cats coach upset after loss

Brookswood Bobcats’ Tayla Jackson goes up for the shot against the Holy Cross Crusaders in the Triple-A Fraser Valley senior girls basketball finals at the Langley Events Centre on Saturday. - Alyssa O
Brookswood Bobcats’ Tayla Jackson goes up for the shot against the Holy Cross Crusaders in the Triple-A Fraser Valley senior girls basketball finals at the Langley Events Centre on Saturday.
— image credit: Alyssa O'Dell/Langley Times

There was no sugarcoating coach Neil Brown’s feelings.

“Bad clock management, bad coaching, they weren’t ready to do it, it just sucked,” said the veteran bench boss of the Brookswood Bobcats senior girls basketball team.

He was speaking after his team let a late lead slip away, losing 69-66 to the Holy Cross Crusaders at the Langley Events Centre in the championship final of the Triple-A Fraser Valley basketball tournament on Saturday night.

A Jessie Brown three-pointer had Brookswood up 66-59 with 3:25 to play, but that would be the last basket the ’Cats would score as the second-seed Crusaders scored the final 10 points to win.

It was the first loss against B.C. competition this season for the No. 1 Bobcats, who entered the game 36-0.

Holy Cross’ Alli Buck hit the winning buck with 6.1 seconds left and the Crusaders added a pair of free throws with two seconds left to pad the lead. The Bobcats attempted a desperation three-point attempt at the buzzer to no avail.

What really had Brown upset after the game was the decision making of some of his key players.

“Tayla Jackson and Jessie Brown didn’t want to play, took themselves out of the game and Ace (Aislinn Konig) can’t do it by herself,” he said.

He was referring to Brown — his daughter — and Jackson being saddled with foul troubles throughout the game. What had him upset was the fact he felt the fouls were unnecessary.

This was the third meeting between the two teams with Brookswood winning comfortably in the first game, and then needing overtime to prevail a few weeks ago.

“We screwed it up,” he said. “If we don’t want to play, then this happens.”

Konig, Jackson and Jessie Brown did all earn Fraser Valley all-star awards, but Brookswood could not get in sync with two of their big three stuck to the bench.

Konig said it also hurt the team that they were not getting foul calls on their drives to the basket and the team became too reliant on their outside shot.

“But we should have stopped just relying on the shot from the outside,” she said.

Konig finished with 22 points while Jessie Brown had 15 and Jackson had 10 points.

“We weren’t as ready as we should have been,” Konig said.

“And this was our third time playing them and we should have known them.”

The loss was very similar to last season’s Fraser Valley final when the Bobcats led for much of the game but wound up losing 73-67 to the Maple Ridge Ramblers.

Last year, Brookswood was able to shake off that loss and advance to the provincial final, eventually finishing with the silver medal.

Brown also referred to a few years ago when — with the majority of this group of players on both sides — Brookswood beat Holy Cross in the Fraser Valley final but the Crusaders beat the ’Cats in the provincial final. He said hopefully his team can turn the tables this time around as both will compete at the B.C. provincial championships, which run March 4 to 8 at the Langley Events Centre.

•••••

The Brookswood Bobcats junior girls basketball team placed sixth at the Fraser Valley championships.

The ’Cats, who entered seeded eight, lost 44-18 to the No. 2 Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers in the fifth place game.

Brookswood went 3-2 at the championships with wins over Samuel Roberts Technical (42-30), Holy Cross (34-25) and Abbotsford (49-36). They also lost to Riverside 44-26.

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