Kolbie Orum (12) faced tight checking in the bronze medal game against the Oak Bay Breakers on Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.

Ramblers girls finish fourth at provincial championship

n the bronze medal game, the Ramblers blew a 16-point lead, and had to settle for fourth place

First the Brookswood Bobcats took revenge on the Maple Ridge Ramblers and knocked them out of contention for provincial gold.

Then, in the bronze medal game, the Ramblers blew a 16-point lead, and had to settle for fourth place at the triple A girls basketball championships,

In Friday’s provincial semi-final at the Langley Events Centre, the Bobcats focussed their attention on shutting down Ramblers star Kolbie Orum. They had apparently taken a lesson from a 40-point beat-down that Orum put on them when the Ramblers defeated them in the Fraser Valley championship.

Orum faced triple coverage during some moments of the semi-final game, and she posted a season-worst 15 points. The Bobcats won 63-49.

“They had a better start,” said Ridge coach Don Herman, noting the hot-shooting Bobcats put up 21 points on treys.

“We just got behind, and missed some shots of our own, and they’re a really good team to try and come back.”

In the bronze medal game on Saturday, Ridge led the Oak Bay Breakers 28-20 at half time, then started the third quarter with an eight-point run that extended the lead to 36-20.

But the game slowly got away from Ridge. Talented six-foot-three forward Jane Grisley picked up her fourth foul early in the second half, and had to sit out. The B.C.-team player would log only 17 of the game’s 40 minutes – about half her typical floor time.

That left Orum to battle alone on the paint against Oak Bay’s talented and physical forwards. One of those, Chloe Campbell, had her fourth foul announced twice, but was not ejected from the game.

The Breakers pressed and pressured, and Ridge turned the ball over with rushed passes.

“Open passes were just missed, dropped or just thrown out of bounds,” said Herman.”

The score was 39-34 for Ridge after the third quarter.

They held the lead until with 1:50 left in the contest, when Oak Bay took the lead 51-50 at the freethrow line. They held on for a 53-50 win.

Orum had 28 points and 28 rebounds, and Devan Cousins had nine points and seven rebounds.

Grisley was the victim of some head-scratching calls by the officials, but she took a cue from her affable coach and would not blame the refs.

“You’ve got to change your game, and adjust to what they’re calling,” she said.

Orum said it was a successful year in that the team won the Fraser Valley tournament, and played for medal at the provincial tournament.

“It was a proving tournament for our team,” said Orum. “And I felt we did that.”

The tears in both girls’ eyes showed it was an emotional loss for the team.

Herman said his team was tired. With the loss of two players, he only plays eight girls, and by the end of the tournament fatigue was a factor.

He said the girls will be able to look back on their season with perspective, and see how much they accomplished – a Valley championship and fourth place finish in the province.

“It’s an outstanding year,” he said.

South Kamloops repeated as champions, beating Brookswood 59-49 in the final.

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