Trailing 13-2 at one point in the first quarter, the Langley Christian Lightning put the clamps down defensively the rest of the way.
“We just settled (down), our help was better and we started to get some rebounds,” said coach Danielle Gardner.
“We got down early and fought back. (But) it was close all the way through and we were just able to pull ahead at the end.”
Langley Christian was playing the MEI Eagles in the Grade 8 girls Fraser Valley championship game on Monday at Semiahmoo Secondary with the Lightning prevailing 34-29. It is the first Fraser Valley banner in school history at the Grade 8 girls level.
The Lightning trailed 13-5 after one quarter but took a one-point lead, 17-16, at the half. Langley Christian again held their opponent to three points in the third quarter before a back-and-fourth final quarter.
“A lot of girls stepped up and had some great games for us,” Gardner said. “This is a big accomplishment for us.”
Langley Christian was the top seed for the 32-team Fraser Valley championships while the Eagles were ranked No. 2.
And the Lightning cruised through the first three rounds, hammering No. 32 Mount Slesse 85-5, winning 57-31 over No, 16 Vedder and then 34-11 over No. 9 Maple Ridge.
The semifinal game was significantly tougher but Langley Christian edged No. 5 South Delta 36-31.
Lainey Shelvey, who had a team-high 11 points, was names most valuable player of the Fraser Valleys.
“She is a great athlete who is just starting to come into her own as a basketball player,” Gardner said. “She has a bright future ahead of her in terms of what she can accomplish.”
Taelor Coxford and Grace Christie were also selected Fraser Valley all-stars for the Lightning.
The Yorkson Creek Wolves and Walnut Grove Gators both lost in the second round of the Fraser Valley championships while the Brookswood Bobcats fell in the opening round.
The No. 12 Wolves beat No. 21 Graham Grizzlies 35-25 in round one but fell 27-17 to South Delta in their next game.
The Gators, ranked 15th, beat No. 23 Enver Creek 35-23 before losing in round two, 62-22, to MEI.
And the 17th seed ’Cats lost 49-27 to Vedder.