Ballenas girls play for 7th in provincial finals

Parksville basketball team squares off against Windsor Saturday afternoon at AA championships in Langley

Ballenas Whalers' Jules Clark

Ballenas Whalers' Jules Clark

A heartbreaking, 77-75 loss to fifth-ranked Immaculata Catholic School of Kelowna Friday morning relegated the Ballenas Whalers senior girls basketball team to a berth in Saturday’s 7th-8th place contest in the AA Provincial Championship tournament at Langley Events Centre.

Tip-off is at 1:15 p.m. against 11th-ranked Windsor of North Vancouver.

The unranked Whalers, who won the Vancouver Island AA championship and were seeded 9th in the 16-team provincial tournament, are now bidding to match their 7th-place finish in the 2015 provincials.

The Whalers opened the 2017 tourney Wednesday with a 65-53 upset win over fourth-ranked Okanagan Mission of Kelowna, earning a quarterfinal draw Thursday against top-ranked and No. 1-seeded Seycove Secondary of North Vancouver.

An 89-64 loss to Seycove dropped Ballenas into the consolation semifinals, where the Whalers engaged Immaculata in a white-knuckled thriller before falling just short.

Seycove will appear in the AA championship final Saturday afternoon against No. 3 Vernon.

The Whalers are making their third straight appearance in the AA senior girls provincial finals. Ballenas placed 12th in 2016.

— NEWS Staff