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B.C. U16 women advance to basketball final with win over Alberta

Point guard Jessica Parker displayed great leadership in semifinal game

Jessica Parker led British Columbia’s U16 women’s team to a semifinal victory in a 70-42 win over Alberta at the Tait McKenzie Centre, putting the west coach side into the Gold Medal match on Thursday at the North American Indigenous Games.

In what was a closely contested game through two quarters, B.C. was able to run away with it because of Parker and backcourt partner Memphis Dick’s ability to create plays and sink timely shots, which came alive in the second half.

B.C. quickly extended its lead from seven points to 19 in the third quarter before outscoring Alberta 15-6 in the fourth for a comprehensive win.

This was a hotly contested rematch. After losing to B.C. 58-31 in the group stage, Alberta bounced back, beating Yukon 87-7.

However, B.C. has been dominant throughout NAIG, as they came into this game with an undefeated record while its average margin of victory was by 35.3 points.

It took a while for the teams’ offences to get settled in. Both Alberta and B.C. only made two field goals in the first four minutes of the game. It was a very chippy affair, with each side committing numerous fouls and playing hard defence.

The action had to be stopped early in the second, as B.C.’s Kristy Innes took a hard fall, but she was able to walk off on her own. Even after that incident, the level of physicality didn’t slow down.

Team B.C. went into halftime with a slim 38-31 advantage.

However, they started the third quarter on an 11-2 run. Innes was the key to it, showing her resiliency by drawing a foul on a 3-point shot.

She then followed that up with an and-one, which helped turn the tide in her team’s favour.

Parker displayed some great two-way play in the fourth quarter when she converted a steal into a bucket on two consecutive possessions before connecting with Innes on a fast break. She was taken out of the game for good with 3:36 left.

B.C. awaits the winner of New York vs. Wisconsin.