Upset queens reign at provincials

Unity Christian’s senior girls basketball team finished their season on a high note, performing well at last weekend’s single-A provincial tournament in Sparwood.

The Flames finished second in the Fraser Valley and entered the tournament as the 13th seed in the 16 team field.

On Wednesday, UC started off against the fouth-seeded Ashcroft Rams, the top finisher in the Okanagan zone.

The Flames were pressed continuously by the speedy Rams, but a determined effort led to a convincing 87-73 victory.

The Flames were the only team to knock off  a higher seed in round one, guaranteeing themselves at least a top eight finish.

Not satisfied to stop there the Flames barrelled into an aggressive and well prepared team from Kelowna Christian School, the tournament’s fifth seed.

A valiant effort by the Flames was not enough to avoid a 68-54 loss and a date with the sixth-seeded Valemount Timberwolves.

Unity Christian jumped out to an early 10-0 lead and never looked back, taking the Timberwolves 71-63.  This set the stage for a final game meeting with the Mulgrave Titans, a team that the Flames had come to know well throughout the season.  The sixth seeded Titans (No. 1 from the Lower Mainland) had defeated the Flames in two meetings earlier this year, establishing a ‘friendly’ rivalry.

The Flames came out on fire, hitting long range shots to build a 12 point lead. The Titans fought back, getting as close as two, but eventually the Flames prevailed with a 70–66 victory.

UC’s 3–1 record netted them a fifth place finish and left coach Brian Downey bursting with pride.

Retiring seniors Samantha Luteyn, Jade McGhee and Janelle Taekema leave the team knowing that their younger teammates are ready to carry the Flames into the next season.