Isfeld star forward Harriette Cunningham was a force at the AAA girls Island championships at Wellington Secondary in Nanaimo. Peggy Street photo

Courtenay team qualifies for AAA girls provincial basketball tournament

The Mark Isfeld senior girls basketball team qualified for the triple-A provincial tournament by finishing second at the Island championships last weekend at Wellington Secondary in Nanaimo.

The Ice — the top North Island seed entering the tournament — squeezed by the Carihi Tyees in their Thursday opener, 60-58. Grade 11 star forward Harriette Cunningham contributed 28 points. Juliet Patry was player of the game for the Ice for her tenacious defence.

On Friday, Isfeld faced Comox Valley rival, the Vanier Towhees. In their only match this season, Isfeld squandered a 15-point lead in Vanier’s gym to lose by a point in a January league game. This time was a different story, however. The entire game was a back-and-forth ordeal, but Isfeld pulled away for the win, 62-47. Grade 12 point guard/team captain Myah Erikson and player-of-the-game Cunningham each scored 18 points, while Patry played outstanding defence and contributed 12 points.

Vanier beat the host Wellington 58-54 in a thrilling match for third place.

In Saturday’s championship final, the Ice faced the Ballenas Whalers of Parksville — whom they had beaten by two points in the North Island semi-final. It was the ‘Battle of the Bigs’ as 6’1 Cunningham faced 6’4 Whalers forward Abigail Becker. The lead changes were many. Isfeld led 28-27 at the half, but the Whalers pulled ahead to win 59-47. Becker scored 40 points in the final, and was named tournament MVP.

Cunningham and Erikson were named to the tournament first all-star team.

The AAA B.C. Championships are Feb. 26-29 in Langley.

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