Oak Bay Breakers finish with silver medal in basketball

At this rate, 2015 should be a wonderful year for the Oak Bay Breakers senior girl’s basketball team.

After a third-place finish at B.C.’s triple-A championships last season, coach Rob Kinnear’s troops added a provincial silver medal on Saturday in a 64-57 loss to the Brookswood Bobcats at the Langley Events Centre.

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Following that trend, Kinnear is looking nowhere but up for next season, with Grade 11s Morgan Roskelley and Lauren Yearwood back for another year.

“That’s the game plan,” Kinnear said after the late-afternoon championship final. “We graduate some amazing girls, but there’s still a pretty amazing group and I’m sure we’ll be hungry and motivated for next year.

“You always want to finish that one spot higher than we did, but this is a special group that played its heart out, and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

The Breakers looked nervous to start, down 6-0 early, but roared back for a 15-10 lead after the opening quarter. They extended the lead to 20-11 and 24-16 before the Bobcats clawed out a 29-28 advantage at the half.

A 10-0 run late in the third quarter and a 10-2 streak in the first five minutes of the fourth gave Brookswood the win.

“They’re such a good team, we knew they would press back,” Kinnear said. “I thought we answered pretty well, but in the fourth quarter, when it was really go-time, they made a couple of plays and we didn’t.”

The Breakers had previously lost twice to Brookswood in tournament finals this season, including the Victoria Christmas event in which Oak Bay played without star point guard Roskelley. The Bobcats made it a hat-trick thanks to 20 points from Tayla Jackson. Yearwood and Roskelley had 20 and 14 points, respectively, and were named first-team all-stars. Yearwood was also named outstanding defensive player and Marisa Harrington was an honourable mention all-star.

The biggest game of the night, however, was the battle of the Big Cats from Victoria as the Lambrick Park Lions defeated St. Michael’s University School Blue Jags 70-64 for the double-A senior boy’s title.

The Lions bounced back from a 32-30 halftime deficit, led by six-foot-10 post Matt Neufeld, who opend the third quarter with a massive statement block on Jason Scully.

It was the seventh time the two evenly matched teams met this season with SMUS winning four, including a last-second win at the Island championship two weekends ago at Lambrick Park.

In the double-A girl’s bronze-medal game, St. Thomas More broke open a tight contest in the fourth quarter to defeat Wellington of Nanaimo 83-67 and finish third.

mannicchiarico@timescolonist.com

Twitter/tc_vicsports

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