Panthers girls second in Port Alberni hoops tourney

Parkland Secondary School hosts fifth annual senior girls basketball tournament Feb. 7 and 8

Kristie Gallagher

Kristie Gallagher was named most valuable player for the second year in a row at the Totem 59 senior girls basketball tournament in Port Alberni last weekend.

Gallagher, the star player for Larry Green’s Parkland Panthers high school squad, led the team into second place, scoring 37 points in a loss to the host Alberni Secondary, 69-62 in the final. Green said he credits his players — many of whom are only in Grades 9 and 10 — for toughing it through what he called “a hostile environment.”

In the final, Alberni Secondary saw three of its starting five players foul out. Green said they had no answer for Gallagher on the court, resorting to fouling her throughout the game. Gallagher herself would also foul out late in the game.

Forward Breanna Clooney was named to the all star team and also fouled out in the final match in front of a full gym of raucous spectators. Emma Davis, a Grade 9 player on the senior team, pulled in an average 12 rebounds per game.

Green said he’s happy with how his players performed in the tournament, defeating Qualicum Beach and Vanier (Campbell River) en route to the final.

Parkland had a record of 10-6 as of Jan. 15, said Green, noting that he has booked a very competitive schedule this season, playing teams like Alberni which is a triple-A-level squad. His double-A team is gearing up for the south Island finals next month by hosting strong teams at their fifth annual home tournament Feb. 7 and 8. Green said it features three Island and five mainland teams.

“I still have some tricks up my sleeve,” Green said.

The south Island AA girls finals are Feb. 13 to 15. The Island playoffs will be at Courtenay Feb. 20 to 22.

— with files from the Alberni Valley News