The scoreboard indicated another loss for the Southridge Storm, but the Senior AA girls high school basketball team wasn’t too concerned about a 75-47 defeat to the Holy Cross Crusaders on the last day of the B.C. championships at the Langley Events Centre.
There were other goals to strive for, and after three losses in four games in Langley, the Storm achieved those goals.
“Once you get into the back side of the draw, it’s not necessarily about wins and losses,” explained Southridge head coach Paul Chiarenza. “It’s about getting kids into the game and having good experiences and I thought we did that.”
With a lineup that included just one Grade 12 player, who was unable to play on the final day, the team will be back next year with higher expectations. And playing in this year’s provincial tournament will go a long way toward preparing for next season.
“With Katie (Punia) out, it makes a big difference,” said Chiarenza. “But this team we put on the floor today is next year’s team. I was really happy with the way they battled, and every second they played out here (today) will make them excited to get back here.”
Chiarenza was able to get all 12 players in the lineup onto the court for Saturday’s final game of the season. Andrea Otamendi scored 12 points to lead the Storm, with Megan Galbraith adding nine, Emily Schenk netting eight and Melissa Vereschagin tallying seven. Steph Pak led the team in rebounding with seven.
The Storm lost their first game of the tournament 75-60 to the Seycove Seyhawks on Wednesday, then fell 76-60 to the defending champion Lambrick Park Lions of Victoria on Thursday. Their lone win was a 66-40 decision Friday over L.V. Rogers of Nelson.
“We definitely prepared well for the first-round game, and we played very well in that game,” said Chiarenza. “We went up against a team that shot the lights out against us, above 60 per cent.”
The end result for the Storm was a 14th place finish in the 16-team tournament, the same placing achieved by the Elgin Park Orcas in the Senior AAA category.
Elgin Park also won one of four games. Their run began with a 72-45 loss Thursday to Oak Bay of Victoria. They then were toppled 59-55 by the Claremont Spartans, also from Victoria, in a second-round game Friday.
Elgin then defeated North Peace Secondary Friday before a 64-58 loss to Burnaby Mountain.
Lisa Tabor, with 17 points, and Brooklyn Tidder, with 16, were the top Orcas scorers against Burnaby.