When Claremont Spartans senior basketball coach Kim Graves walked into the junior and senior tryouts this year, she stumbled on a little surprise named Haley Cabral.
Now the senior team walk-on, who moved here from Alberta in the off-season, is part of the Spartans’ dynasty, having helped the team win its fourth straight Island championship last week.
Starting today (March 7) the Spartans are at the AAA girls’ B.C. championship at Capilano University in North Vancouver. The Spartans open the tourney against the Gleneagle Talons while the Oak Bay Breakers play the Argyle Pipers.
For the past three seasons the Spartans were anchored at provincials by point guard Shaylyn Crisp, now of the UVic Vikes.
Sliding into that role, albeit unexpectedly, is Cabral. And as a Grade 10, she too has a chance to make three provincial appearances.
“Going into tryouts I had no idea Cabral was here,” Graves said. “I saw her and was like, ‘Oh wow.’”
Nor did Cabral have any idea the Spartans’ were the toast of the Island.
(Cabral) was the one piece the team needed, Graves said. “She brought it all together. She plays 40 minutes a game.”
The Mount Douglas Rams lost their wild card game against the Terry Fox Ravens last week, ending their chance at provincials.
Bays take Islands
The Oak Bay Bays are headed to the AAA boys’ B.C. championship as the Island’s top seed.
Kaz Kobayashi scored 21 points and Mat Hampton had 20 as the Bays edged the Belmont Bulldogs 68-60 in the final.
The Bulldogs upset the Mount Douglas Rams on Day 2 of the Islands, 76-66, and will attend the boys’ provincials with Oak Bay and Mount Doug, March 13 to 17.