Crusaders tame Bobcats in Valley title game

When the top two senior girls Triple A basketball teams in B.C. go head-to-head, expect the result to come down to the wire.

That’s exactly what went down Saturday afternoon at the Langley Events Centre, where the provincially No. 2-ranked Holy Cross Crusaders edged the top-ranked Brookswood Bobcats 69-66 in the Fraser Valley championship game.

The loss snapped the Bobcats 36-0 run against B.C. competition.

Holy Cross guard Alli Buck drained a 12-foot baseline jumper with six seconds remaining to cap a dramatic comeback by the Crusaders.

“We played okay defence at times,” Bobcats head coach Neil Brown said. “The score was respectable.”

One of the key differences was the fact that the Crusaders from Surrey owned the ball under the Bobcats’ basket.

They pulled down 22 offensive rebounds compared to the Bobcats’ eight.

The teams were tied 29-29 at the halftime break, and the Bobcats looked poised to win in the fourth quarter.

Then they saw a 60-48 lead slip away.

The Crusaders closed out the game on a 21-6 run, holding the Bobcats pointless over the final 3:26 of the contest.

“We had a lead late in the game and let it slide,” Brown said.

Aislinn Konig led the Bobcats with 22 points in a losing effort, while Jessie Brown added 16.

“Jessie and Tayla  Jackson were in foul trouble throughout the game,” Brown noted, adding that, “HC [Holy Cross] is a huge team. They bring a 6’2” kid off the bench that signed with SFU Div. 2.”

The Bobcats are now gearing up for the 16-team B.C. championships taking March 5-8 at the LEC.

“Hopefully this is a wake-up call for us and we can get back to basics over the next 10 days,” Brown said.

The Bobcats earned a spot in the Fraser Valley final by outscoring Abbotsford’s W.J. Mouat Hawks 94-77 in Friday’s semifinal.

Jessie Brown had monster game against the Hawks. Her 42 points, that included 10 three-pointers, accounted for nearly half of her team’s offensive totals.

Konig also had a strong outing, offensively, with 20 points.

Konig, Brown and Jackson were named to the Fraser Valley all-star team.

Howard Tsumura is a reporter with the Vancouver Province. Read more Vancouver Province stories here.

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