The Holy Cross Grade 8 girls basketball with championship banners earned this season. (Submitted photo)

The Holy Cross Grade 8 girls basketball with championship banners earned this season. (Submitted photo)

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL

Triple-banner year for Grade 8 girls of Surrey’s Holy Cross, including B.C. basketball title

Crusaders earned a 26-1 record in 2022, a year to remember

The girls basketball program at Surrey’s Holy Cross school looks to be in good shape for years to come, judging by this year’s Grade 8 team, which was nearly perfect on its way to a provincial championship.

They’re the first team in Holy Cross history to win the Surrey, South Fraser and B.C. banners in one season, according to head coach Amy Beauchamp.

“It’s a pretty good group, for sure,” said the proud coach. “All of the girls are dual-sport athletes.”

Holy Cross won the provincial title with a win over Argyle of North Vancouver on March 5, in a final played at Abbotsford’s MEI school gym.

“It was pretty crazy game,” Beauchamp recalled. “We were down the whole game and then we took the lead with about five minutes left in the game and won it 49-43, I think it was.”

Crusader Alyssia Palma was named tournament MVP, and teammates Meghan McCash and Isla Iannuzzi were given all-star status.

Earlier, Holy Cross won the SSSAA (Surrey) Grade 8 girls championship banner by beating Lord Tweedsmuir in the final, and later captured the South Fraser regional banner in another win over the Cloverdale school team.

Turns out, Tweedsmuir handed Holy Cross its only loss of the season, back in January.

In the end, the Crusaders earned a 26-1 record in 2022, a year to remember.

“We didn’t have many close games this season,” Beauchamp noted. “Our only close games were with Argyle and Tweedsmuir.”

At provincials, Tweedsmuir placed third among Grade 8 girls teams. All of the final results are posted on grade8bcbasketballchampionships.ca.

On the Grade 8 boys side, Surrey’s Enver Creek team earned third place in B.C., ahead of Johnston Heights (fifth) and Pacific Academy (sixth).

The Holy Cross girls are coached by an all-alumni team of Beauchamp, Randy Mangalindan, Danna Sheck and Cassandra Raban, with the help of manager Julia Baptista.

“I coached my sister Rachel to a provincial championship 12 years ago, and now this one,” Beauchamp noted.

The 2022 team roster includes Isla Iannuzzi, Alyssia Palma, Presley Ashdown, Lindsay Correa, Chloe Mangalindan, Sophie Sheck, Abbey Louie, Kaitlin Vergara, Cora Clendenin, Meghan McCash and Mila Wojciechowski.

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tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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