Crunch time for Port Coquitlam’s Riverside Rapids
It’s unclear if the Riverside Rapids are feeling superstitious as they head into their first game of the AAA senior girls’ B.C. basketball championships today (Mar. 6).
By the numbers, this would be the school’s seventh provincial playoff appearance in a row. The team also can’t seem to escape third place finishes. Riverside took third in last year’s provincials and then recently in the Fraser Valley playoffs.
Coming off a 22-16 regular season, the Rapids finished slightly above the middle of the pack in the provincial standings. Rapids coach Paul Langford lamented the team’s tough schedule and many injuries this year, including the absence of celebrated point guard Vanessa Gee, who only started playing after Christmas.
“She is getting stronger with every game,” said Langford.
Gee scored 28 points in the Rapids’ last win, a 85-61 decision over W.J. Mouat of Abbotsford during the Fraser Valley playoffs.
Now the team is gearing up for their game against Steveston London at 5 p.m. today at the Langley Events Centre, where the provincial championships are being held. Langford has already done his research on the Rapids’ Richmond rivals.
“I know they have a guard from the [Canadian] junior national team that is very good,” he said. “We are going to get the ball out of their hands as much as possible.”
The tournament will also be a chance for the Rapids to watch — and hopefully play against — some of the best female basketball players in the province.
“It’s a great experience, anytime you can be playing basketball in March,” said Langford.