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Burnaby Central Wildcats upset in 4A girls basketball provincials opener

Ankita Chopra led the scoresheet with 30 points in the setback against Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary, sending Burnaby Central to the consolation side.
Burnaby Central Wildcats senior girls' basketball team.

A cat fight to the very end.

The Burnaby Central Wildcats, however, ran out of time on Wednesday, Feb. 28, losing 77-75 to Lord Tweedsmuir (Surrey) in their first game of the 2024 B.C. AAAA girls basketball provincial championships.

The fifth-ranked Wildcats were looking to improve on their 2023 bronze medal, but were met by a hungry 12th-seeded Panthers squad at the Langley Events Centre.

Central guard Ankita Chopra was the best player on the court for both sides, netting a game-high 30 points, including 14 in the first quarter.

The Wildcats held the lead through three quarters of play before Lord Tweedsmuir rallied back, even pulling ahead to a 10-point lead in the final frame.

Burnaby Central is now on the consolation side of the 16-team tournament, meaning the best they can finish is ninth by Saturday, March 2.

The 'Cats are currently playing 13th-ranked Walnut Grove as the first step to winning that side of the bracket.

Prior to provincials, Central claimed the Burnaby-New Westminster city banner in a 78-31 victory over St. Thomas More Collegiate, but lost to Riverside (Port Coquitlam) in the Fraser North regional championship.

STM Knights

Meanwhile, the St. Thomas More Collegiate's senior girls basketball team is moving on in the AA provincial tournament.

The fifth-seeded Knights defeated Kalamalka (Coldstream) on Wednesday by a score of 53-34.

The team was led by Grade 10s Demicah Arnaldo and Mia Believeau with 25 and 18 points respectively.

STM is set to face Notre Dame Secondary (Vancouver) in its quarterfinal match today, Feb. 29, 3:30 p.m. in the fieldhouse at the Langley Events Centre.

BMSS Lions

Burnaby Mountain Secondary compiled a 2-3 record at the 2024 B.C. junior boys basketball provincials invitational this past weekend.

The 17th-ranked Lions ultimately finished 20th at the 32-team tournament, also in Langley, from Feb. 24 to 27.

BMSS lost the first match to Fleetwood Park (Surrey), but won two in a row against Duchess Park (Prince George) and Brookswood (Langley) to reach the consolation bracket semis.

They then fell to St. Michael's University (Victoria) on Monday, Feb. 26, and G.W. Graham (Chilliwack) on Tuesday, Feb. 27, resulting in its top 20 placing.