Grizzly girls fall short in provincial bid

A loss to Vancouver basketball power York House left the GW Graham Grizzlies on the outside of the provincial bracket.

GW Graham’s senior girls basketball team ended their season with a loss to York House, falling short of their goal to qualify for provincials.

The Grizzlies had high hopes entering Fraser Valley playoffs, but a loss in their first game meant they had to take a back-door route, with four games in four days. GWG survived the first two, but a loss to Abbotsford Christian left them with a do-or-die game against York House (Vancouver).

The Grizzlies were nervous, and it showed against the perennial power house. The locals trailed by 18 points at one point before rallying to within five.

York House ended up winning by 13.

Graduating players Kaitlyn McDonald, Aveen Rezends and Kassia Bednarczyk left it all on the court in their final high school game.

This season put our school and the program on the BC basketball map, and I couldn’t be more proud of these girls,” said coach Sarah Mourtizen. “We had huge wins over many top 10 teams, and when you look at the draw for provincials you can see we are right there. But we just couldn’t win that last game that we needed.”

During the season, GWG knocked off four top 10 teams in Vernon (No. 2), St. Thomas Aquinas (North Vancouver, No. 3), Windsor (North Vancouver, No. 5) and Duchess Park (Prince George, No. 8).

They added wins over No. 11 ranked St. Michael’s University School (Victoria) and No. 13 ranked Abbotsford Christian.

Looking ahead to next year, McDonald graduates but stays local, joining the University of the Fraser Valley women’s squad.

Next year’s GWG team will return a strong core with Jenika Bannerman, Katie Sutherland and Erin Steele joined by a young and talented supporting cast.