Knights close out provincials with a win to place 7th

The St. Thomas More senior girls closed the AA provincials with a hard-fought 68-56 victory over Britannia, placing seventh overall in the tournament last week in Langley.

The Burnaby squad had to shake off a 29-23 halftime deficit, but tied it with a strong third frame and pulled away thanks to a 9-2 start in the fourth quarter.

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Cassiel Penalosa led all STM shooters with 14 points, while Brooklyn Monks and Shiloh Corrales-Nelson each contributed 13.

They opening the tourneywith a powerful 72-39 win over Duchess Park in a game where they never trailed. The Knights capitalized with 26 points off turnovers and converted 17 second-chance opportunities, while limiting the Condors to just 20 points in the paint. Monks knocked down 26 points and 10 rebounds and Gigi Gaspar tallied 12 points, nine boards and seven steals. Providing strong support was Corales-Nelson with 11 points and nine rebounds.

After that, the Knights hit a pair of speed bumps.

Langley Christian handed them their first loss, a 66-49 decision on Day 2. STM were on their heels most of the game, trailing 19-9 after the first quarter and 38-22 at halftime, but provided a solid effort in the second half to remain in contention. However, the Valley team had a better shooting day, scoring on 29.4 per cent of their field goals, and going 18-for-28 from the line. STM was good on 24.3 per cent for field goals, including a rusty eight-for-38 in the first half, and made just 11 of 25 free throws. Gigi Gaspar led the Knights with 18 points, while Emma Stewart-Barnett chipped in nine points.

In their second test on the consolation side, the team’s shooting game returned to form but was out-stripped by a red-hot Vernon squad in a 73-67 loss. It turned into a story of two halves; STM were up by as much as eight in the second quarter and held a 33-30 advantage at halftime after posting a 27.1 per cent success rate, to Vernon’s 27 per cent on field goal attempts. The Interior team caught fire over the final two quarters, connecting on 48.5 per cent from inside the arc, while STM hit on 26.8. It resulted in Vernon rallying to flip a three-quarter 50-48 deficit, out-scoring the Knights 25-17 over the final 10 minutes.

Bella Gaspar topped all STM shooters with 12 points, while Aurafel Domingo and Gigi Gaspar contributed 11 each. Chipping in 10 was Stewart-Barnett.

Earning a spot on the tourney’s honourable mention all-star team was Gigi Gaspar.

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