In all his years of coaching high school basketball, Neil Brown has never won a bronze medal.
“I have been in eight or so third place games, never won one,” he said.
“It has never been an interest of mine; my interest has always been first. But it is always nice to medal.”
Brown’s Brookswood Bobcats were down nine at the half and soon quickly found the deficit up to 11 points in the bronze medal game against the Panorama Ridge Thunder.
The two teams were playing at the Langley Evens Centre in the third-place game on Saturday afternoon at the B.C. AAA senior girls basketball championships.
The ’Cats would claw back into the game, outscoring the Thunder 27-12 the rest of the way to take a two-point lead into the fourth quarter and never looked back.
Brookswood defeated Panorama Ridge 84-77.
Louise Forsyth led Brookswood with 24 points — including hitting five of six free throws down the stretch — while Jenna Dick had four three-pointers and 20 points.
Brown said that the team showed signs of undisciplined, selfish offensive play, which was also a big factor in the team’s semifinal loss the night before, 69-65 to the Abbotsford Panthers.
The coach said once he took those players out in Saturday’s game, the players received the message and Brookswood was able to rebound for the victory.
“It was a valuable lesson learned by everybody,” he said. “When everyone is involved, we can play.”
“We came together as a team and other people starting contributing,” Forsyth said.
Janessa Knapp had a dozen points, Mana Katori had 11 and Brooklyn Golt had 10 and Tavia Jasper had five points.
Forsyth is one of three graduating players on the team and the Gonzaga-bound senior said it felt nice to end her high school career with a victory, even though it was a bronze.
“I think it was really important to show that we could bounce back after a tough loss,” she said.
Forsyth was named a first team all-star while Dick was a second team selection.
Walnut Grove’s Tavia Rowell was an honourable mention as her Gators squad finished seventh after going 2-2 at provincials.