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Seaquam wins AAAA girls’ basketball title

Senior girls from North Delta edge Riverside for championship
The Seaquam Secondary Seahawks won the 4A senior girls basketball championship Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre with a 79-73 win over Riverside.

Sports is all about in-game adjustments.

Tied at 34 at the half, the Seaquam Seahawks spent the next 10 minutes climbing uphill as their opponent – the defending champion and No. 1 seed – Riverside Rapids built up a 10-point lead with a quarter to go.

Recognizing the situation, Seaquam coach Lucky Toor quickly changed his team’s strategy. The move paid off as the Seahawks exploded for 31 points, defeating the Rapids 79-73 in front of a capacity crowd on Centre Court at Langley Events Centre in Saturday’s championship final at the 2024 BC School Sports 4A Girls Basketball Provincial Championships.

The title is a first in not only Seaquam senior girls’ history, but in all of Delta, and matches the championship banner this core group won two years ago (with most of the players as Grade 8s and 9s) at the Junior Girls Basketball Invitational Tournament.

“We’ve been talking about this moment since we started in November,” said Seaquam’s Camryn Tait. “It’s a big moment for us, as well as Delta.”

Tait paced the offence with 16 first-half points, and she finished with 20, one behind teammate Mackenzie Henderson, the Championship Player of the Game.

Sydney Roufousse added 14 and Syra Toor chipped in with 10 to give the Seahawks four players in double figures.

On the other side, Avery Sussex finished with 35 points to lead Riverside while Jorja Hart had 16 and Annabelle Neufeld finished with 13.

This was the third meeting of the season between Seaquam and Riverside, with the Seahawks winning twice, including back in December at the LEC in the finals of the Tsumura Basketball Invitational.

Toor used the footage of that game to help him prepare for Saturday’s championship final.

“I watched (the TBI final) twice today. I watched six hours of games … I was trying to figure out tendencies that could help me at the beginning of the game,” he said.

Sussex would win the Most Valuable Player Award, while Tait took home both the Most Outstanding Defensive Player and a First Team All-Star award. Joining her as First Team All-Stars were Neufeld and Hart from Riverside, Mackenzie Henderson (Seaquam), and Okanagan Mission’s Presley Hopf.

The Second Team All-Stars were Reece Tam (Argyle), Maeva Carnahan (Yale), Faith Hunter (Okanagan Mission), Hanna Grewal (Lord Tweedsmuir) and Sydney Roufosse (Seaquam).

The Okanagan Mission Huskies – who also won the bronze medal 71-69 over Yale – were named the Most Sportsmanlike Team.

And Ava Heppner (Yale) won the Quinn Keast Foundation Scholarship and Denise Mendoza (Charles Best) won the Inspiring Bandit Award.