One of B.C. high school basketball’s most dominant programs of the past decade is back on top in 2014.
Dino Gini’s Immaculata Mustangs defeated the rival Kelowna Christian Knights 69-49 Saturday in Lumby to win the B.C. girls’ senior A championship for the second straight year.
The Mustangs have now won seven provincial titles since 2003.
Ranked No. 1 all season, Immaculata rolled over Glenlyon Norfolk 85-19 in the opener, then beat Fraser Lake 90-56 in the quarterfinals.
In the semis, the Mustangs took care of Similkameen 96-51.
Coach Gini, who was at the boys A provincials with the Mustangs, travelled from Langley to Lumby Saturday evening to coach the Immaculata girls to the gold medal.
“They are just a fantastic group that carried the No. 1 ranking all year and took care of business in the finals,” said Gini, whose Mustangs posted a 32-2 record this season. “We defeated some quality teams so we were definitely one of the best teams in the Okanagan this year, but the important part is we had great competition and were challenged in all those exhibition games with quality teams with quality coaches, proud of of all the girls.”
Graduating captain Hannah Johnson was named the best defensive player at the tournament to finish off her high school career. Emma Johnson, Jaeyden Penkala and Ashlyn Day were named to the first all-star team.
The rest of the Mustangs are Amanda Grant, Ashley Prehofer, Nicole Hart, Lindsay Lalach, Stephanie McCann, Bliss Ducharme, Katelyn Kohlen, Shadae Kishor and Kate Johnson.
Dino Gini is assisted by Brian Grant, Leah Drebit and Andrew Gini, while Megan Hart and Cassidy McClennan are the managers.
Silver for KCS
The Kelowna Christian Knights couldn’t solve the Immaculata Mustangs this season, but still managed to finish second best in the province.
KCS opened provincials in Lumby with a 64-49 victory over Pender Harbour, then defeated Bulkey Valley 61-38. Jacquie Sellers and Roza Kalashnikoff each won player of the game hours.
In the semifinals, Kelowna took down Cedars Christian 62-46, with Sellers earning top player honours.
In the final, the Knights played hard but came up short against the Mustangs 69-49.
Haley Hopp led the Knights with 18 points, Sellers had 14 and Kalashnikoff, 11.
Kalashnikoff and Sellers were named to the first all-star team, while Hopp and Lauren Krueger earned second team honours. Coach Dave Bingham also commended Sophia Goertsen for being “an outstanding inspirational player,” and playing “great defence.”
As for the Knights’ season as a whole, Bingham had plenty or praise for his players.
“I’m very pleased, silver was a great result,” he said. “I couldn’t have asked anymore, they did their best and had a great tournament in Lumby.”
The Knights are: Makayla Albrecht, Sophia Goertsen, Chelsea Mathews, Emma Grimes, Cheyenne Heidebrecht, Jenna Hay, Roza Kalashnikoff, Lauren Krueger, Haley Hopp and Jacquie Sellers, and the coaches are Dave Bingham and Brian Krueger.
Mustangs boys 5th
The Immaculata Mustangs lost just once in four games but had to settle for fifth place at the B.C. boys A basketball finals in Langley.
The Mustangs defeated Maple Ridge Christian 62-52, Glenlyon 51-48 and Duncan Christian 53-46 in the fifth-place game.
Immaculata’s only loss came in the second game to the eventual B.C. champs, West Point Grey, 74-53.
“This was such a rewarding season as a coach, each player improved tremendously and the team continued to get better and better,” said coach Dino Gini.
The senior boys have three graduating players—Tomas Pesl, Chris Macdonnell and Madison Alexander.