The St. Thomas More Knights made program history, becoming the first junior varsity girls' basketball team from Burnaby to finish in the top eight at the B.C. high school championships.
The JV Knights did much better than that, placing second in the program's first-ever provincial final following a 41-29 loss to No. 1 W.J. Mouat at the Langley Events Centre on Saturday.
The ninth-ranked Knights, with four Grade 9 starters, shot lights out in the team's 58-47 upset win over No. 2-ranked Riverside in the semifinals on Friday. But the shots refused to fall against the all-junior squad from Abbotsford in the championship final.
"(The ball) wasn't going in today and it was yesterday," said STM head coach Rachel Tulk. "Our defence was real good, and Mouat got some shots off, but ours weren't dropping."
First team all-star Gabrielle Laguerta, who along with junior teammate Leilani Carney led the three-point parade in the upset win over Riverside, had a game-high 15 points in the loss to Mouat.
"We worked all year. They hit all their shots, and we didn't hit that many of ours," said Laguerta, who was also named STM's player of the game. "But we played hard."
Defensive player of the tournament, Zion Corrales-Nelson, chipped in with five points, eight rebounds and two steals.
Tournament MVP Amanada Thompson of Mouat was the threat in the final. The 510 forward scored all of her team-high 14 points, including three first-quarter threes in the first half before foul trouble kept her on the bench for much of the second half.
STM also defeated Claremont 46-34 after opening up the tourney with a 65-45 victory over No. 12 South Kamloops.