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Mulgrave Titans dunk decisive win in 2A girls basketball B.C. finals

Coach Claude Leduc calls them ‘the best team he has ever coached’

After consistent dominance throughout the regular season and tournament play, the Mulgrave Titans senior girls basketball squad snatched up the provincial trophy in just their second year in the 2A division.

At the Langley Events Centre last Saturday, the West Vancouver team scored a decisive 91-52 win over the Pacific Christian Pacers during the BC School Sports 2A Girls Basketball Provincial Tournament.

Mulgrave came out firing in the final, scoring 50 first-half points and finishing the game shooting 14-for-31 (.452) from beyond the arc. Lucy Xu (30 points) and Jenna Talib (27 points) each sank six triples. Xu was named the Championship Player of the Game.

The high school team was ranked first in the division this year from start to finish, and continued to be a juggernaut through the four-day tournament, winning by an average of 47 points in the post-season.

Leading the charge was Eva Ruse – last year’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player – who added the 2023 Most Valuable Player award to her trophy case. In the championship game, she scored 11 points with a game-high of 15 rebounds and four assists.

Ruse is on another level, said coach Claude Leduc.

“She makes her teammates better, she does everything. She has the heart of a champion, competes, battles, great leaper, can finish,” he said in a statement.

Point guard Ava Wilson finished a rebound short of a triple-double with 14 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds. Wilson and Talib were named two of five First Team All-Stars.

Despite playing in the 1A finals a number of times, Mulgrave’s girls basketball team was never able to close out a season with a provincial championship. But last year they made it to the 2A finals in their first year in that division, which served as a learning experience for this year’s tournament. During the regular season, they only lost to 3A and 4A teams.

“We learned about the grit and toughness and preparation that is required to be successful. They learned that they needed to act like seniors – hydrate, rest, sleep, work hard,” Leduc said.

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