Cowichan Secondary School’s first trip to the provincial girls basketball championships in two decades resulted in a 14th place finish.
The Thunderbirds qualified for the AAAA tournament in Langley late last month, the first time in about 20 years that the school has sent a girls team to provincials. Cowichan picked up one win and two close losses among their four games at the tournament.
The T-Birds went in seeded 13th, and opened against Walnut Grove, who went into the tournament seeded fourth and finished in the same spot. Cowichan trailed by just six points after the first quarter, but Walnut Grove was up 52-16 at halftime. The T-Birds outscored the Gators 24-14 in the third quarter, but were unable to narrow the gap significantly, and Walnut Grove was up 84-53 at the final buzzer. Mackenzie Hall had 15 points and eight rebounds for Cowichan, Eden Funk put up 14 points and six boards, Alyssa Klotz also had 14 points, and Jessica Castle grabbed nine rebounds.
Next up for the T-Birds were their Island rivals from Claremont. Again the score was close after one quarter, but the Spartans were up by 11 at halftime. Cowichan got back within eight points in the third, but Claremont prevailed 52-40 at the end of the game. Klotz led the T-Birds with 12 points, and Funk and Hall each had 10.
Cowichan’s lone win of the tournament was a decisive 75-40 victory over Prince George. The T-Birds outscored the Polars in every quarter, led by Hall with 21 points and Klotz with 15. Tayah Poole added nine, and Funk and Zoe Johnson finished with eight apiece.
The T-Birds wrapped up the tournament with a 64-57 loss to Handsworth. Cowichan was up by five points after the first quarter and at halftime, but fell behind in the third. Hall put up 19 points, Poole had 16, and Klotz added 12.