For two consecutive years, the Cedars Christian School Eagles have been silver-medalists at provincials.
They want gold this year and they're ready to start their quest.
The Eagles are the top-ranked team for the senior girls basketball single-A provincial championship tournament, which tips off today at the Northern Sport Centre. In their opening game, at 7 p.m., they'll take on the lowest seed, 16th-ranked Duncan Christian. A victory would land the Eagles in a Thursday morning contest (11 a.m.) against either No. 8 Kelowna Christian or No. 9 Rossland.
The tournament will continue on Friday and will conclude on Saturday night. The gold-medal final is slated for 6 p.m.
Last year, the Eagles hosted provincials in the same venue and advanced to the championship game against the Houston Christian Wildcats. Houston Christian, led by six-foot-six post player Ruth Hamblin, capped off an undefeated season by winning 80-63.
In 2011, when provincials were held in Sparwood, Houston Christian also beat Cedars in the final, 75-48.
The Wildcats have lost their key players to graduation and didn't qualify for the tournament this year. For the Eagles, the toughest competition is expected to come from second-ranked Immaculata of Kelowna.
Cedars, which already has city and north central zone titles to its credit this season, is led by Grade 12 forward Kayla Gordon and by Grade 11 guard Hannah Pudlas. Both were recognized as provincial all-stars last year and Gordon has already been recruited by the Trinity Western University Spartans of Langley to play university basketball in 2013-14.
Four other local high school teams also qualified for senior provincial tournaments and will be in action today. In the girls category, those squads include the Duchess Park Condors and PGSS Polars. The Condors, who compete at the double-A level, are in Kamloops and have been seeded eighth out of 16 teams. Duchess will face ninth-ranked Notre Dame today at 3:15 p.m. The Polars, meanwhile, are at the triple-A provincials in Langley and will take on Maple Ridge at 8:45 tonight.
In the senior boys category, Cedars (single-A) and Duchess Park (double-A) will represent Prince George at the B.C. tournaments. The Eagles, ranked 16th, are in Abbotsford and will play top-rated West Point Grey Academy at 8:30 a.m. As for the Condors, they are in Kamloops and, as the No. 7 seed, will take on Archbishop Carney of Port Coquitlam at 1:30 p.m.
In the junior ranks, the girls from Duchess Park are seeded third for their provincial tournament in Langley. In the junior boys division, the D.P. Todd Trojans are in Vancouver for provincials.