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Photos: Port Coquitlam's Riverside Rapids advance to AAAA girls basketball semi-finals

Riverside will play the Burnaby Central Wildcats in Friday's semifinal, a rematch of their Fraser North district finale that Central won

The Riverside Rapids senior girls basketball team has some unfinished business at the AAAA provincial championships.

But first they’ll have to attend to some other unfinished business.

The Rapids overcame a choppy first half to defeat the Kelowna Owls 59-46 in their quarter-final game Thursday at the Langley Events Centre. That sets up a semifinal Friday against Burnaby Central, a rematch of their Fraser North district championship that was won by the Wildcats 74-61. Central advanced after it defeated Okanagan-Mission 83-74 in its quarter-final.

The winner advances to Saturday night’s championship final.

It’s an opportunity Riverside’s players have had their eyes on all season, after they lost last year’s nail-biting finale to crosstown Terry Fox Ravens, 77-75.

The Ravens didn’t enter a senior team this season, and the Rapids spent most of the campaign atop the provincial rankings. Until their loss to Burnaby Central, which dropped them to third heading into provincials.

Against the Owls, Avery Sussex scored 27 points to lead Riverside’s offence that struggled to hit baskets and win rebounds through much of the first half.

In fact, it was the scrappy team from Kelowna that took a 26-24 lead Ito the break.

But the Rapids showed their veteran mettle in the second half, battling to a 41-38 advantage at the end of the third quarter then rolling from there.

If momentum means anything in basketball, Riverside scored 10 straight points at the end of the game to seal their victory.

Riverside and Burnaby Central tip off at 8:30 p.m. at the LEC’s South Court.

Follow the Tri-City News social media feeds for updates from the game and check back here afterward for a full report and photos.

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