Four Okanagan teams are in the field of 24 for the 41st annual Junior Girls Provincial Invitational Basketball Championships starting Wednesday, March 1, at the Langley Events Centre.
Only one valley school – the Okanagan Mission Huskies of Kelowna – are seeded in the top-eight at No. 8. The top eight seeds get a bye into the second round of qualification play Wednesday.
Eight teams will advance to the Championship bracket starting Thursday, and will finish one-through-eight in the tournament. Teams relegated to the Showcase bracket will play for placings nine-through-16, and eight teams will take part in the Rivalry bracket for spots 17-24.
Each school will play at least four games in the tournament, which wraps up Saturday, March 4.
The Huskies will play the winner of a first-round qualification game between Salmon Arm’s J.L. Jackson Jays (seeded No. 24) and No. 9 Brittania Bruins of Vancouver Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. The Jays and Bruins face each other at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
The Vernon Panthers are seeded 14th and will take on North Vancouver’s Handsworth Royals (No. 19) at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. The winner has a date with the third-seeded Brookswood Bobcats of Langley at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Kamloops’ Valleyview Vikings are seeded No. 22. They’ve drawn the Royal Bay Ravens of Colwood, near Victoria, who are ranked No. 11, for their first game Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.
Victoria’s Oak Bay Breakers are the No. 1 seed. Abbotsford’s Yale Lions are No. 2, and the Holy Cross Crusaders of Surrey round out the top-four.
• Okanagan teams were all 1-2 heading into play Monday at the 53rd annual Junior Boys Provincial Invitational Tournament, also at the Langley Events Centre.
The fifth-ranked Westsyde Whundas of Kamloops were upset 67-59 by the 12th-seeded Heritage Woods Kodiaks of Port Moody in a quarterfinal matchup. The Whundas then fell 63-62 to the Lambrick Park Lions of Victoria. Westsyde opened the tourney with a 72-39 romp over the Correlieu Coyotes of Quesnel.
The Vernon Panthers, seeded 15th, fell 62-50 to the Elgin Park Orcas (No. 18) of Surrey in their opening game, then rallied to whip the LV Rogers Bombers of Nelson 57-36. The Centennial Centaurs of Coquitlam then squeaked by Vernon 45-42.
The Summerland Rockets, ranked No. 20 in the 32-team field, began with a 67-57 loss to No. 13 Lambrick Park before scoring a 55-52 victory over the Lord Byng Grey Ghosts of Vancouver (No. 29). The Windsor Wolves of North Vancouver then grounded the Rockets 70-58.
Kelowna’s Rutland Voodoos began with a 75-44 loss to the St. Patrick Celtics of Vancouver (No. 8), then fell 59-56 to the St. Michael’s University School Blue Jags of Victoria (No. 9).
The Voodoos, seeded No. 25, got into the win column wtih a 79-44 victory over the 32nd-seeded R.E. Mountain Eagles of Langley.
The tournament wraps up Tuesday.
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