The Heritage Park Highlanders finished third in B.C. at the Grade 9 girls provincial tournament over the weekend. (Submitted)

Heritage Park finishes third

Grade 9 girls team excels at provincial basketball tournament

The Heritage Park Middle School Highlanders Grade 9 girls basketball team impressed at provincials over the weekend, finishing a strong third in the province.

The provincials, which took place in Port Moody, featured the top 16 Grade 9 girls teams in B.C. battling it out.

The Highlanders entered the tournament ranked sixth, and opened the event with a 40-33 win over Handsworth on Feb. 28. HPMS continued its winning ways in the quarter-final round, with a 50-41 win over Seycove on March 1. The club suffered its lone defeat at the provincials later that day, when they lost 38-24 to the Abbotsford Traditional Titans.

The Highlanders then bounced back on Saturday with a 27-26 win over Maple Ridge to finish third.

That result is the best-ever finish for HPMS at the Grade 9 girls level.

Grade 8 student Natalie Curley was named the defensive player of the tournament, while Grade 9s Isabella Vetter and Maddie Hofer were both named to the tournament all-star team.

Coach Frank Chan said he was thrilled with his team’s play at the event.

“We’re happy with the result,” he said. “If you had asked us at the start of the year if we’d be happy to finish third, I think myself and the girls would be pleased with that finish. The girls worked really hard and it was nice to see that pay off.”

Chan noted that the team finished first overall in the Abbotsford-Mission Grade 9 girls league regular season with a record of 24-6, but the team stumbled a bit in the Fraser Valley championships and finished fourth.

He said it was nice to see the team overcome some of the adversity they faced in the regionals and perform so well at the provincials. Coach Angie Vetter was another crucial part of the Highlanders excellent season, sharing coaching duties with Chan.

McMath defeated the Titans 49-24 in the provincial final.

For complete results from the event, visit bbc9girlsprovincials.weebly.com/results.html.

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