Unity Christian breaks through for 1A basketball title

So close for so many years, the Flames finally won the provincial banner in a tourney they hosted.

After knocking on the door for several seasons, the Unity Christian senior girls basketball team knocked that door off its hinges Saturday to claim the 1A provincial championship.

The Flames entered the tournament as the No. 2 seed in the 16 team field, with only Langley’s Credo Christian ranked ahead of them.

Unity Christian hosted this year’s tourney, with games held at the school and at Abbotsford’s Columbia Bible College.

The Flames opened last Wednesday with a 77-28 win over No. 15 seeded Similkameen (Keremeos).

Grade 10 guard Olivia Lounsbury was selected player of the game with a 16 point effort, including three three-pointers. Grade 9 phenom Kylie Kampman led the Flames with 21 points and the stifling Unity Christian defence held Similkameen without a point for the entire first quarter.

That win catapulted the Flames into a quarter-final matchup with West Point Grey Academy, where Kampman had another huge game with 28 points, leading Unity Christian to a 68-38 win.

The Flames moved on to a much tougher matchup in the semi-final, facing Vancouver’s Mulgrave Titans. Grace Vandenbrink came up big in this one, producing 20 points and an astounding 14 steals.

While Kylie Kampman had a quiet outing, by her standards, with 13 points, her sister Kirsten Kampman collected 18. Lounsbury continued her hot shooting from three point land, draining two more from beyond the arc as part of her 11 points.

Unity Christian expected to meet their arch-rivals from Credo Christian in the final, but those plans were derailed when Kelowna Christian knocked the Kodiaks out in the other semi-final.

The fifth seed coming into the tournament, the Knights promised to be no pushover and led 15-10 after the first quarter. Vandenbrink, with five points, and Kirsten Kampman, also with five, were the only Flames hitting the scoresheet through 10 minutes.

But Unity Christian made some adjustments at the break and locked it down defensively, holding the Knights to 10 total points over the next two quarters. Kirsten Kampman dialed up beast-mode on the boards, pulling down an astonishing 33 rebounds.

The Flames won 60-38.

“The fans from both teams were electric,” said Unity Christian coach Mike Campbell. “850 people attended the final. We had to call plays through hand signals as it was too loud to be heard.”

Unity Christian’s average margin of victory in the tournament was 29 points.

They held opponents to an average of just over 38 points per game.

“We have been close to winning so many times in our 16 year history and this one ended up coming to us with relative ease,” Campbell chuckled.

Kirsten Kampman was named tournament MVP.

Kylie Kampman and Lounsbury were named tourney all-stars.

It’s been a great year for Unity Christian athletics.

The Flames captured the school’s first ever provincial banner last November, winning the 1A senior girls volleyball championships. Several players from that team contributed to the basketball win.

“Winning provincial banners in multiple sports in a single season is a tremendous accomplishment, and we only graduate one Grade 12 player, Charmaine Jongerden,” Campbell noted. “The girls will be clear favourites to repeat as provincial champions next year, but there are always new challengers.

“With our Grade 9 girls team capturing the Fraser Valley Championship and our Grade 7 girls team completing an undefeated season, Unity Christian hopes to stay number in the province for a long time.”

Unity will host the 1A provincial championship again next year.

Just Posted

Molson-Coors to honour Sto:lo culture and history at Chilliwack brewery

Artist proposals sought by July 30 to design and install a commemorative piece

Agassiz firefighters tackling blaze on farmer’s field

A neighbour said the fire was started by a problem with a tractor

Yale man arrested after fleeing police in downtown Hope

Man arrested on three outstanding warrants after being caught in stolen van

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Still no decision on cannabis stores in Kent following public hearing

Staff will be bringing the bylaws back to council to include new amendments for location

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

Countdown starts to 2020 BC Summer Games

Two flags unveiled at Maple Ridge city hall.

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Weather Network’s anti-meat video ‘doesn’t reflect true story’: cattle ranchers

At issue is the video’s suggestion that cutting back on meat consumption could help save the planet

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Wrestling legend finds his wedding dance groove in B.C.

Professional wrestler Chris Jericho posted on social media that he was in Penticton recently

Vancouver Public Library banned from Pride parade after allowing controversial speaker

Vancouver Public Library allowed Meghan Murphy to book space for an event at the library in January

Man arrested after allegedly attacking people with syringe in Burnaby mall

Police say that no one has yet to come forward with injuries consistent with needle stab wounds

Horgan hints at Daylight Saving Time changes after record survey response

More than 223,000 online surveys were submitted in the government’s public consultation

Most Read