The Langley Christian Lightning turned a close game into a rout after an outstanding third quarter on the defensive side of the ball.
The Lightning led the Credo Christian Kodiaks 26-23 at the break on Saturday night at the Fraser Valley senior girls 1A championship game at Langley Christian School.
But the 10 minutes following intermission saw the Kodiaks score just three points while the Lightning struck for 19 in the quarter to turn the close game into a decisive 63-36 Langley Christian victory.
“For us, defence is a huge part of what we try and do,” said Langley Christian coach Danielle Gardner.
“So for us to hold them to three points (in the quarter) was pretty solid.”
“Anytime you play hard defence, if your offence is struggling, it allows you that grace period,” she said.
“Our third quarter was not pretty,” said Kodiaks coach Sharon Allison. “It was not only because of poor shooting, it was turnovers, poor offensive execution and poor shot selection.”
Langley Christian used a balanced attack as nine players had at least four points.
Ali Wergeland — the tournament’s most valuable player — led the way with a dozen points while first team all-stars Tabitha Meier and Katelyn Mallette had nine and seven points, respectively.
Credo Christian was led by 10 points from Jaylene Stam and eight from Hannah Allison.
The Lightning were the top seed while the Kodiaks were second heading into the Fraser Valley championships.
Credo Christian beat Agassiz 62-48 in one semifinal on Friday while Langley Christian topped St. John Brebeuf 89-20 in the other.
Langley Christian and Credo Christian — as well as Agassiz — advance to next week’s provincial championships (March 9 to 12) at Duncan Christian.
The Lightning — who have three Grade 12s on the roster — are the defending provincial champs.
“It is one game at a time when you get to provincials. You have to battle, bring your ‘A’ game every day, ,” Gardner said.
For the Kodiaks, Allison said the team’s success hinges on good defensive play and rebounding.
“If we do this well, we will be successful,” she said. “We will go to provincials as a team of 12 that will play hard and together and if we do that, we will be a tough team to beat.”
Langley Christian’s Brennan Gardner earned a second team all-star award but the Lightning senior boys came up short in their quest for a berth to the B.C. 2A provincial championships.
The Lightning lost 75-73 to Abbotsford Christian on Friday night.