It wasn’t easy stopping Brookswood Bobcats star Aislinn Konig, but the MEI Eagles senior girls basketball team did a better job than anyone else at the Eagles Invitational tournament final on Saturday.
Konig, a North Carolina State Wolfpack recruit, was dominant all tournament long, but MEI held the Bobcats to 74 points – the lowest offensive total of the tournament for the provincially ranked number-two Langley squad.
The Bobcats set the tone early, jumping out to a 11-0 lead, and the Eagles never recovered. MEI trailed 42-14 at the half, but head coach Samantha Hawkes was pleased with her young team’s efforts against Brookswood and their tournament overall.
“We set a defensive goal to keep them under 80 points and they scored 74,” she said. “Our main focus really was to try and lower their scoring average.”
Brookswood advanced to the tournament final with a 104-48 win over Vernon on Friday and a 96-56 win over Kelowna on Saturday morning. The Eagles posted a 59-43 win over South Kamloops on Friday and a 66-50 win over Handsworth on Saturday morning.
Eagles guard Taylor Cousins led the way with 13 points in Friday’s game, and Hawkes said she and Julia Weiss were key parts to the team’s success.
“They stepped up big for us, especially against Handsworth,” she said. “They’re our leaders and most experienced players and we need that as a young team.”
Hawkes said the win against Handsworth was huge, as the Royals are ranked ninth in the province and the Eagles were an honourable mention heading into this weekend.
“We feel a lot more legitimate because we beat a top-10 team and we proved we can compete with the best in the province,” she said. “This weekend was a big turning point for us, I feel like we’re heading in the direction we want to go.”
The senior girls next compete at the Top Ten tournament in Coquitlam this weekend.
Also on the girls side was the Mouat Hawks, who lost 68-48 to Kelowna on Friday, lost 70-66 to Vernon on Saturday morning and beat South Kamloops 90-53 on Saturday afternoon to place seventh.
The MEI senior boysbasketball team also had a good weekend, winning all three games at the Eagles tournament. The boys opened with a 50-47 win over Bodwell on Friday afternoon, and then bested New Westminster 73-46 on Friday evening.
The boys closed the tournament with a 75-60 win over Burnaby Central. The Eagles were the only team at the four-team tournament to go undefeated. They next compete at the Snowball Classic tournament at Abbotsford Senior Secondary. The Eagles open the tournament on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. against St. George’s.