The Walnut Grove Gators capped off a 45-0 season by winning the Grade 8 girls provincial basketball championship.

The Walnut Grove Gators capped off a 45-0 season by winning the Grade 8 girls provincial basketball championship.

Grade 8 Gators cap off perfect season

Walnut Grove girls basketball team goes 45-0, wins provincial banner

Forty-five up and forty-five down.

That is what the Walnut Grove Gators Grade 8 girls basketball team was able to accomplish this season.

Even more impressive was the fact the Gators won all of those games by double digits.

The end result is the Grade 8 girls invitational provincial basketball banner.

The Gators captured the title with a 67-40 win over the Little Flower Academy Angels on Saturday afternoon.

Walnut Grove was playing in the finals at Pitt Meadows Secondary.

The title is the first at any girls basketball level in the history of the Walnut Grove school, said Grant Inkster, who coaches the team along with Glen Knodel.

“This is a very wonderful group of kids, very coachable, very excitable, they like playing and have fun,” Inkster said.

In the finals, Walnut Grove was up eight at the half before getting their game in gear in the third quarter to pull away.

“We didn’t finish as well as we would have liked in the first half, so the game was a little closer  than it should have been,” Inkster said.

“We broke away in the third quarter and had the separation we needed.”

Walnut Grove was also coming off a tough semifinal win the night before, 46-33 over Abbotsford’s Clayburn Wolves.

Inkster said of the team’s four closest victories — which were by 11, 12, 12 and 13 points — Clayburn was the opponent twice.

The team is a bigger and more physical squad than the Gators, who are more uptempo and perimeter-oriented.

“We have a bit of a challenge stopping teams like that,” the coach said about half-court offences that rely on size inside.

Walnut Grove won 46-33 in the semifinals.

Against Little Flower Academy, the Gators faced a foe who played a similar style to them.

“We had to get the girls ready for that completely different style, from one night to the next,” he said.

In Walnut Grove’s other games at provincials, they beat Smithers 63-18 and defeated Dunsmuir 59-34.

Tavia Rowell earned most valuable player honours, while Natalie Monro was a first team all-star and Jessica Wisotzki was a second team all-star.