The Highland Raiders senior girls basketball team finished second at the long-running Totem Tournament, last weekend in Port Alberni.
The Comox team faced a composed St. Patrick Secondary of Vancouver in their opening game. Highland shot the ball well and led from start to finish, winning 75 to 67. Abby Duncan led the team in scoring with 31 points. Emma Warren and Cheyanne Rice each scored 18 points, and Emily Edwards scored eight “huge second-half points,” assistant coach Andrew Duncan said.
The win pitted Highland against the host Alberni Armada in front of a huge hometown crowd, complete with marching band and cheerleading team. The game was a physical affair, with Highland leading 32-22 at the half. Alberni came on strong in the third and the game was tied at 41 heading into the fourth quarter. Duncan said Highland showed “tremendous poise and composure” in the fourth, silencing the deafening Alberni crowd and winning 54-50. Warren scored 18 points, Rice had 13, Duncan 11 and Edwards eight.
The victory put Highland into the final against the vaunted Pacific Christian Pacers of Victoria — the fifth-ranked double-A girls team in B.C.
“They showed why with a dominant victory over the Raiders,” Duncan said.
Though outmatched, Highland competed well and gained valuable experience against a well-oiled team. Duncan scored 25 points, Warren scored 10, Rice eight and Bianka Moffit added two points.
Duncan was named a tournament all-star.
The Raiders don’t have a single Grade 12 player on the team. The lineup consists of six Grade 11s and three Grade 10s. The second-place result exceeded the expectations of Duncan and head coach James Warren.
“Our team has been improving as the season has progressed,” Duncan said. “We are unbeaten in league play and have only lost two games during tournament play all season.”
The team’s goal is to win the North Islands and qualify for the Island championships.
“We finished fifth on the Island as a junior team last year, and hope to improve on this result this year with the ultimate goal of qualifying for the B.C.’s,” Duncan said.