The Walnut Grove Gators are the Fraser Valley junior girls basketball champions after beating Brookswood 55-40 in the championship final. Photo submitted

Gators top ’Cats in all-Langley Fraser Valley final

Walnut Grove junior girls continue strong play over past month by winning Fraser Valley banner

Brookswood coach Sarah Cameron paid the ultimate compliment to the Walnut Grove Gators.

“They are a very well-balanced team. Each time we have played them, it has been something a little different,” Cameron said.

Cameron and her Bobcats squad had come out on the short end of a 55-40 score on Saturday night to the Gators in an all-Langley final at the Fraser Valley junior girls basketball championships. The championship round was held over the weekend at Sardis Secondary.

“That is where our strength comes from,” said Walnut Grove coach Grant Inkster. “We are just going to play the way we play and we have no idea who is going to step up.

“Other teams are targeting to stop key players so if you have an alternative plan or another girl to step up, that can be to your advantage.”

In Saturday’s final, the Gators raced out to a 10-0 lead and from there, kept the ’Cats at bay, never allowing Brookswood to cut much into the advantage.

Walnut Grove entered the Fraser Valley championships as the No. 3 seed and they crushed their first three opponents, beating No. 30 Holy Cross 62-30, grounding the No. 19 Mountain Eagles 71-29 and then prevailing 62-35 over the No. 6 Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers 62-35.

The Gators did face a stiff test in the semifinals against the No. 2 Yale Lions.

The Lions erased a 14-point deficit in the second half to take a two-point lead in the fourth quarter before Walnut Grove rallied to win by a bucket, 40-38.

Brookswood was the fifth seed and faced a much stiffer test in making it to the Fraser Valley final.

They beat No. 28 Enver Creek 69-28 in the opening round, but the rest of their games were much closer.

The ’Cats topped the No.12 MEI Eagles 43-38 in the round of 16 and beat No. 13 St. John Brebeuf 41-35 in the quarter-finals. And in the semifinals, Brookswood pulled off the upset, knocking out No. 1 Riverside 42-36 to set up the all-Langley final.

But for the third time in as many weeks — including in the Langley District championship game — Walnut Grove would best the Bobcats.

“We struggled to get into a groove offensively the first half, we just weren’t able to put the ball in the hoop when we needed to,” Cameron said. “Seemed to be a little bit of Grade 9 nerves.”

The ’Cats roster has just one Grade 10 player.

“(And) I think by the time you get to the Saturday game, after you have been battling all week, fatigue kind of sets in a little bit. But we are definitely proud of the girls. It was a great learning experience for us.”

Inkster used the Brookswood team as an example for his players.

“We have nothing but kudos for Brookswood. The way their girls played the semifinal against Riverside, I used the Brookswood girls as an example to our girls of what you have to do at this level.”

Walnut Grove is on quite the run, themselves, having not lost in more than a month, after a middling start to their season.

But since they won a provincial qualifying tournament in Cowichan in mid-January, they have not lost.

“From that point on, they had a different sense of belief in themselves in what they could do,” Inkster said. “(And) with each outing, they seem to get more and more confident and more and more competitive.”

Walnut Grove’s Fania Taylor earned most valuable player honours, while Anneke Cairnie and Juliana Jacobs were both named to the all-star team. Brookswood’s Quinn Jasper was also an all-star selection.

Both teams now prepare for the BC junior girls provincial basketball championships, which run Feb. 28 to March 3 at the Langley Events Centre. Walnut Grove is seeded first for the 32-team event while Brookswood is right behind at No. 2.


Langley Fundamental was also competing at the Fraser Valley championships and the 15th-ranked Titans won 45-44 over No. 18 Robert Bateman in the opening round but lost 72-33 to No. 2 Yale in the round of round of 16.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


The Brookswood Bobcats were seeded fifth at the 32-team Fraser Valley championships but finished second, only behind fellow Langley rival Walnut Grove. Photo submitted

Just Posted

Langley’s Coldest Night of the Year exceeds fundraising goal

Participants walked for Coldest Night of the Year on Saturday, Feb. 23.

VIDEO: Walnut Grove Gators basketball team post win in opening round of provincials

Junior Boys Basketball Provincial invitational tournament features 32 B.C. teams, three from Langley

Junior Team Canada brings home gold to the Lower Mainland, again

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

VIDEO: Langley Trappers take 3-2 series lead on Abbotsford Pilots

Sunday’s game six set for Langley’s George Preston Recreation Centre

Surrey-Langley curlers in the running again for gold

Junior men’s team out of Langley hopes to defend its world title Sunday, going up against Switzerland

VIDEO: Iconic ‘snow cone’ takes shape at B.C. park near Clearwater

Snow cone forming at Wells Gray Provincial Park one that would make Disney’s Queen Elsa proud

Pink Shirt Day a reminder to ‘T.H.I.N.K.’ before posting on social media

‘Be Kind’ message on shirts sold for anti-bullying activities of Wednesday, Feb. 27

A ‘warm embrace’ for grieving parents at funeral of seven young fire victims

Mourners offered love and support to Kawthar Barho, mother of seven children

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

UPDATE: Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

Have you heard the legend of Shuswaggi, the Shuswap Lake monster?

Witness accounts as old as 1904, and as recent as 2018, place a creature in the lake’s depths

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

B.C. weavers to help Alaska Native project honouring survivors of violence

Dozens of Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers from all over North America will be weaving 5-inch-by-5-inch squares

Most Read