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Riverside Rapids emerge with win from Port Coquitlam basketball battle

The Rapids were ranked sixth heading into the early-season tournament, while the Terry Fox Ravens were ranked first
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The Riverside Rapids celebrate the team's 90-79 win over the Terry Fox Ravens in Saturday's championship final of the Tsumura Basketball Invitational at the Langley Events Centre.

Shot fired.

Port Coquitlam’s Riverside Rapids served notice to the Terry Fox Ravens that a high school girls basketball provincial title could come down to a cross-town tussle between the Port Coquitlam rivals.

The sixth-ranked Rapids upset the top-ranked Ravens 90-79 in Saturday’s final of the Tsumura Basketball Invitational tournament at the Langley Events Centre.

Riverside was led by Venica Davignon, who scored a team-high 18 points and earned the tournament’s most valuable player award.

“They have been our biggest rivals, our biggest threats,” she said of the Ravens after the game. “Our team just put everything on the line and to finally come through and beat them is just amazing.”

The championship game of the annual tournament that is an early-season showcase for some of the top sides in the province was a back-and-forth affair like driving between the two schools that are just four kilometres apart. The Rapids and Ravens exchanged the lead 13 times and the game was tied six times.

Riverside led by a point at halftime, 37-36. But Fox wrested control in the third quarter to open a six-point advantage before the Rapids stormed back down the stretch.

Rapids coach Paul Langford said while the win was a little unexpected, it showed his charges have the ability to rise to the occasion whey they play to their potential.

En route to the championship, Riverside defeated Argyle, Brookswood, and Langley Christian, while Fox rolled through Lord Tweedsmuir, Sir Winston Churchilll and South Delta.

The Ravens’ top scorer in the final was Ana-Maria Misic, with 21 points.

The Heritage Woods Kodiaks finished ninth after ending the tournament with a 83-59 loss to the Yale Lions.