The Brookswood Bobcats have done it again.
The ’Cats pulled off a three-peat by winning the B.C. high school senior girls AAA basketball championship for the third time in as many years.
And the Fraser Valley champion and top-ranked team in B.C. did so in convincing fashion, knocking off Richmond’s R.A. McMath Wildcats 73-50 in Saturday’s final at the Langley Events Centre.
It was an emotional night for veteran Bobcats coach Neil Brown.
As his players celebrated nearby, Brown sat alone at courtside, wiping away tears.
Prior to that, Brown was asked if he was going to come back to coach the ’Cats next year.
He responded, “I’ve got to look after myself and I’m going to make a decision.”
Brown has led the Bobcats to 11 B.C. finals and has won eight of them. “I don’t deserve it more than other people do,” he said. “I just love basketball.”
Leading the Bobcats was graduating senior guard Aislinn Konig, who was named AAA tournament MVP for the third straight year.
“We lost to them the last time we had played them,” Konig told the Vancouver Province, of a setback to the Wildcats just before Christmas in the final of the Tsumura Basketball Invitational. “We wanted a comeback off of that and we wanted to show some of the people who doubted us. This was the perfect way to show them. So we came out of the change room as if we were down 20 points. We came out with a lot of fire.”
Konig’s teammate Louise Forsythe was named to the first all-star team, while fellow Bobcat Julia Marshall earned second all-star honours, and was the tournament’s most outstanding defensive player.
In the final, Konig posted a game-high 35 points while grabbing 11 defensive rebounds. Forsyth also had a big game offensively, with 27 points to go along with 12 rebounds, including 11 defensive boards.
Marshall added nine points as well as four steals.
For McMath, senior Jessica Zawada was the top point-getter with 13 while first team all-star Jessica Jones chipped in with 10 points.
Second team all-star Bobbi-Jo Colburn had a game high 17 rebounds.
Overall, the Bobcats dominated the B.C. tournament, which ran March 2 to 5 at the LEC.
The Bobcats marched to the gold medal game, despite the No. 5-ranked Oak Bay Breakers giving them some trouble early on in the semifinal.
The ‘Cats blasted North Peace 110-20 in their tournament opener March 2, downed Claremont 76-28 March 3, and punched their ticket to the final with a 76-43 win over the Breakers this past Friday.
In the win over Oak Bay, Konig (31 points) and Forsythe (30 points) combined for 61 points between them, with Forsyth pulling down a team-high 11 rebounds, including nine defensive boards.
Leading 34-25 at the half, the Bobcats took over in the third quarter by outscoring the Breakers 25-10.
– With files from Vancouver Province reporter Howard Tsumura
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