Yale’s Tana Pankratz and the Lions senior girls basketball team enter the provincials ranked fourth in the province. (File photo)

Yale’s Tana Pankratz and the Lions senior girls basketball team enter the provincials ranked fourth in the province. (File photo)

Abbotsford basketball teams chase provincial titles

Update on the provincial title hunt for handful of local teams

The path to a provincial title for Abbotsford-based senior girls and boys basketball teams begins on Wednesday at the Langley Events Centre.

The senior girls 3A tournament sees a trio of local high schools in the mix.

The Yale Lions, Abbotsford Panthers and Bateman Timberwolves all qualified for the event, with the fourth-ranked Lions tipping off against Nanaimo District tomorrow at 4:45 p.m.

The Lions finished fourth at the recent Fraser Valley regionals, with star Tana Pankratz named a tournament first team all-star.

The Panthers finished seventh at the regionals, and enter the provincials as the ninth seed. Abbotsford Senior takes on Okanagan-Mission in the opening round tomorrow at 6:30 p.m.

It’s the first-ever trip to the provincials for the Timberwolves, who qualified for the event with a wildcard win over Killarney on Feb. 19. Bateman is slotted as the seventh seed, and take on Argyle tomorrow at noon.

Games for the 3A senior girls tournament run until Saturday night.

Senior boys 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A provincial tournaments run from March 6 to 9, with the draws set to be released in the coming days.

The W.J. Mouat Hawks will likely enter the 4A tournament as a middle seed, after finishing fourth at the recent Fraser Valley regionals.

The 3A Fraser Valley’s wrap up this week, with the Rick Hansen Hurricanes already clinching a spot at the provincials after posting wins over Langley and Brookswood.

Both MEI and Bateman will have to win out to hope to qualify. The 3A Fraser Valley crown will be handed out on Friday night.

Meanwhile, the junior boys and junior girls basketball teams are also battling for provincial glory.

The boys tournament opened on Saturday at the LEC, with both Yale and the MEI Eagles competing.

The Lions went on a strong run at the event, posting wins over St. Thomas Aquinas and J.L. Jackson on Saturday, but then fell in the quarterfinals to R.A. McMath on Sunday. Yale then fell to Walnut Grove on Monday in the consolation bracket, and will now play Claremont in the seventh place game later today (Tuesday). Earlier this month Yale won the Fraser Valley Tournament.

MEI opened with a win over Eric Hamber on Saturday, but then fell later that day to Okanagan Mission. The Eagles defeated A.R. MacNeil in the consolation bracket on Sunday and then beat Sir Winston Churchill on Monday. They play against St. George’s in the ninth place game today at 1 p.m.

The junior girls provincials open on Wednesday, with both Yale and MEI in the title hunt.

Yale, seeded 12th, takes on W.L. Seaton in a qualification game, while the Eagles (13th seed) take on Duchess Park. The junior girls champion will be crowned on Saturday.

Over in Port Moody, a trio of Abbotsford Grade 9 girls basketball teams hit the court this weekend at provincials.

Fresh off a Fraser Valley title win on Thursday, the Abbotsford Traditional Titans enter the event as the number two seed.

Also competing in Port Moody is the Bateman Timberwolves and the Hansen Hurricanes. The Grade 9 title will be awarded on Saturday night.

Also this weekend is the Grade 8 boys and girls provincials at Semiahmoo Secondary in South Surrey.

Boys teams heading to the event are the C.G. Howe Bulldogs and the Abbotsford Middle Huskies. Girls teams qualified are the Huskies and the W.A. Fraser Falcons.

The championship games are set for Saturday afternoon, with the girls game set for 2:30 p.m. and the boys set for 4:15 p.m.