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PHOTOS: SDSS senior girls fall short of provincials

Senior boys regular season ends this week. South Fraser playoffs start Feb. 27

It was a battle right until the end, but the South Delta Secondary senior girls basketball team fell just short of claiming the final South Fraser zone spot in next week’s AAAA provincial championships in Langley.

Having to win a ‘win and you’re in’ playoff game Tuesday night against Coquitlam’s Charles Best, the Sun Devils fell 66-54.

SDSS battled all night coming from behind twice, but simply ran out of gas.

High scorers were Kaija Rutledge with 21, while Kyra and Zoe Millette and Hayden McConnell all had eight points.

“They battled until the end,” said head coach Sharon Butler. “We really wanted to get back to provincials and have the Grade 12s get that last experience. We really thought that with five practices before the provincials, we would have been prepared and could have made some noise. In the end, lack of depth, no three-point shooting, injuries and sickness all took its toll.”

The past two weeks have been filled with must win, pressure packed games, and the Sun Devils were up for the challenge beating Fleetwood 58-28 on Feb. 6.

They then fell 86-30 to Seaquam but rebounded on Seniors Night at home losing 73-68 to Burnaby Central – the number six ranked team in the province.

Rutledge had a monster night with 45 points, 15 rebounds and three assists.

Kyra Millette had nine points and Marin Marano had eight points.

Rutledge, Amelia Holifield and Emma Turner were the seniors honoured. All three have played together since Grade 8 and were instrumental in the team’s 10th place finish in Grade 8.

Rutledge in Grade 10 led the senior girls’ team to the provincials for the first time in 17 years, winning the South Fraser championship and MVP. The team finished 10th in provincials in 2022 and ninth in B.C. for 2023.

In their opening playoff game, the Sun Devils beat Panorama Ridge 52-37 on Feb. 12, setting up a match-up with Seaquam, where the Seahawks prevailed 52-37.

That set up a must win against Johnston Heights on Friday night (Feb. 16) in which South Delta won 61-42.

Rutledge led the way with 31 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks, Zoe had 14 points and Kyra chipped in with 10. Zoe returned from an ankle injury to play in the game. Rutledge was named a first-team all-star after averaging 27 points and 14 rebounds in the four playoff games.

Senior boys

It’s down to crunch time in the South Fraser AAA boys west division with SDSS and Delta Secondary trying to battle in the standings as the regular season comes to a close.

It was a wild affair on Tuesday night in Ladner as the Sun Devils edged the Pacers 100-97.

SDSS also has picked up wins over JN Burnett (90-81), Richmond (90-61) and a loss to Richmond (96-92).

SDSS sits in second place in the west division with a 6-3 record. AR MacNeil from Richmond is in first place with a 9-1 record.

DSS sits with a 4-5 record in the west division. Their recent results include a 104-57 loss to AR MacNeil, an 89-69 win over JN Burnett, a 96-92 loss to Richmond and a 115-85 win over Richmond on Seniors Night at DSS.

The South Fraser playoffs start on Feb. 27 with the provincials starting March 6 in Langley. Three teams from the South Fraser zone will qualify for the provincials.