The F.P. Walshe Flyers are going to the 2A high school girls basketball provincials for the third year in a row.
The Flyers claimed the silver medal Saturday at the zone championship tournament at Lethbridge College to earn a trip to La Crete this week for the provincials.
In 2012 the Flyers won the provincial silver medal and in 2011 they claimed the consolation title.
Flyers 54 Vi-Queens 35
Cheyenne Hofer held the hot hand March 5 as she scored 18 points to lead the Flyers to a 54-35 win in their opening game of the tournament.
Seeded No. 2 in the tournament, the Flyers were the favourites to beat Vauxhall, who was the No. 7 seed.
It didn’t take long for the Flyers to assert their authority as they took a 14-7 lead in the first quarter with Naomi Burbank scoring seven of her 11 points in the game.
The Flyers widened their lead to 25-14 at halftime and were up 41-26 after three quarters.
In addition to Hofer’s 18 points and Burbank’s 11, the Flyers got six from Tenille Poettcker, five from Sam Bassett, four each from Sarah Gregory, Hannah Bullock and Kaitlin Quinlan and two from Holly Bergo.
Trey Tashiro replied with nine points for Vauxhall and Janelle Heerink had eight.
Flyers 50 Queens 47
The win over Vauxhall advanced the Flyers to the semifinal match Friday against the No. 3-ranked Picture Butte Sugar Queens, who beat Matthew Halton Hawks from Pincher Creek 53-47 in their first game.
The game was a tight battle, with Picture Butte leading 14-12 after the first quarter and 19-18 at halftime.
There was a time in the third quarter when it looked like the Sugar Queens were going to stage an upset as they pulled in front by six points and appeared ready to run away with it.
In the blink of an eye, however, the Flyers grabbed the momentum back in their favour.
First, it was forward Tenille Poettcker ripping a ball from the hands of a Picture Butte player — slamming the Sugar Queen to the floor in the process — and turning to the bucket for two points.
On their next possession, after stopping the Queens attack and forcing a turnover, the Flyers got the ball to Poettcker again and she drove hard to the basket to score again.
That fired up the F.P. Walshe players, who for the rest of the game played with fire in their eyes, outscoring Picture Butte 18-14 in the fourth quarter to claim a 50-47 victory.
Naomi Burbank led the Flyers with 11 points and Sam Bassett and Poettcker each had 10.
Holly Bergo had six, Jayden Goodstriker had four, Cheyenne Hofer had three and Katie Bullock, Sarah Gregory and Jane O’Connor each had two.
Megan Bezooyan had 13 and Jillian Koenen had 11 for Picture Butte.
Eagles 61 Flyers 41
Two high-flying teams met in the 2A high school girls south zone basketball championship and when it was over Immanuel Christian Eagles had soared to a 61-41 win over F.P. Walshe Flyers.
The No. 1-ranked Eagles stormed out of the gate Saturday, opening a 16-10 lead in the first quarter and stretching it to 33-16 by halftime.
Each team scored nine points in the third quarter before Immanuel Christian closed out the win with 19 points in the fourth quarter to F.P. Walshe’s 16.
Hannah Forster and Cobi Wever each had 17 points for the Eagles and Lily Moradel had 13.
Sam Bassett had a dozen for the Flyers, Sarah Gregory had seven and Cheyenne Hofer had six.
Tenille Poettcker had five points for the Flyers, Kaitlin Quinlan had four, Jane O’Connor, Hannah Bullock and Holly Bergo each had two and Naomi Burbank had one.
Picture Butte Sugar Queens beat Kainai 63-50 in the bronze medal game.