Mouat and MEI finish second and third in Century 21 tourney

The Century 21 tournament has run for 28 years in Abbotsford. This year might be its last under the name.

The W.J. Mouat Hawks senior girls basketball team entered last weekend’s Century 21 tournament as the third-ranked AAA team provincially, but were narrowly edged by the fourth-ranked Riverside Rapids in Saturday’s final. The Hawks lost 64-61 to the Port Coquitlam squad, despite managing a 13-point lead in the first quarter.

The MEI Eagles (sixth-ranked) placed third after having fallen to that same Riverside team 69-63 in the semifinals, but rebounded to beat the Seycove Seyhawks 80-74 in the bronze medal game.

Mouat’s Penielle M’Bikata and MEI’s Taylor Claggett were named tournament all-stars, while Riverside’s Shae Sanchez claimed MVP honours.

This year’s 16-team event will be the last time the tournament bears the “Century 21” title since long-time sponsor Ralph Visser has sold the franchise business to another owner. Visser, a basketball referee for forty years, began the tournament in collaboration with former Hawks coach Pat Lee 28 years ago to highlight girls basketball in B.C.

Mouat also finished second in the tournament last year, losing to the Oak Bay Breakers.

The Abbotsford Panthers men’s basketball team was also in action this weekend, placing third at the Tsumura Basketball Invitational 2014. The Panthers beat North Surrey 71-69 in Saturday’s consolation final at the Langley Events Centre.