The top-seeded Cedars Christian School Eagles were expected to win big, and they did.
In their first game of the senior girls basketball single-A provincial championship tournament, the Eagles romped to a 95-35 victory against the 16th-ranked Duncan Christian Chargers on Wednesday night at the Northern Sport Centre. The outcome was never in doubt, as Cedars led 25-6 after the first quarter and 50-15 at half-time.
We came with our game and played some good Cedars basketball, said coach Al MacDonald. We just did the fundamentals and kept it simple.
The Eagles normally like to exert full-court defensive pressure on their opponents but they didnt do that against a weaker Duncan Christian side. Instead, they set up in a half-court defence and used it to create turnovers and fast-break opportunities. Offensively, the Eagles were led by Grade 11 guard Hannah Pudlas, who scored a game-high 21 points. In support, Kayla Eby hit for 19 and Kayla Gordon had 15.
Rachael Bakker, with 17 points, was the top shooter for the Chargers.
The Grade 12 Eby, chosen as her teams top player for her all-around contributions, was happy to get the first game out of the way.
Theres always nerves coming in, she said. Ranked first, youve got the most to lose so it was definitely nice to win tonight.
The Eagles, provincial silver-medalists the past two years, will meet the eighth-seeded Kelowna Christian Knights in their next game, today at 11 a.m. at the NSC. The Knights defeated the ninth-ranked Rossland Royals 66-49 on Wednesday.
Well be prepared for that one, MacDonald said in reference to todays game. Theyre a solid Okanagan basketball team. Were going to be ready for some [defensive] pressure and well introduce them to some northern basketball.
Eby said the Eagles cant look too far ahead, even though they are heavy favourites to play in Saturdays final.
Theres definitely some tough competition and we need to come out strong in each game and focus on making things happen one game at a time, she said.
The Kelowna-based Immaculata Mustangs, seeded second for provincials, also opened with a win on Wednesday. The Mustangs pounded the 15th-ranked Fraser Lake Cougars 111-25 and will clash with the 10th-rated Fernie Falcons today at 3 p.m.
In an out-of-town provincial tournament result from Wednesday, the Duchess Park Condors started the double-A girls championship in Kamloops with a 68-55 win against the Notre Dame Jugglers of Vancouver.
Duchess is the No. 8 seed and Notre Dame is No 9. Carly Shaw-MacLaren led a balanced Condors attack with 15 points. Cassie Rerick added 14, Alexis Schlick hit for 13 and Carly Frenkel had 12. The victory earned Duchess Park a date with the top-seeded Holy Cross Crusaders of Surrey today.
On the boys side of the double-A provincials, Duchess Park - which entered the tournament seeded seventh - lost 78-62 to Archbishop Carney of Port Coquitlam. Statistics werent available.
At the single-A boys provincials in Abbotsford, 16th-ranked Cedars lost 83-28 to top-ranked West Point Grey Academy.