Senior Girls Win Provincial Championship in an Inspiring Upset Victory

Senior Girls Win Provincial Championship in an Inspiring Upset Victory

Blog Landing chevron_right Senior Girls Win Provincial Championship in an Inspiring Upset Victory chevron_right

LINK: They Believed – Lightning Ladies are 2022 Champs

READ: Howard Tsumara writes about Coach Gardner and how a photo captures a thousand words

LANGLEY TIMES ADVANCE: Langley teams take gold at BC School Sports Basketball Provincials


And in the end, in what was still a one-possession game heading into the contest’s final minute, it took near perfection in all facets of the game by the Lightning over the stretch drive to pull out the victory. On Saturday, it was all of that, plus the sum total of a whole season chalk full of team moments which had quite suddenly welled to the surface. And that’s because coaches love their ‘kids’.


One day, Coach Danie Gardner will retire from the Lightning basketball program. Hopefully that doesn’t come for a long time. Hundreds of LCS students, both boys and girls, have been inspired by Coach Gardner to love the game of basketball. In recent years, in the midst of championship banners, LCS has launched several grads into post-secondary basketball careers at SFU, UBC and TWU. On Saturday, Coach Gardner and Assistant Coach Matt Phillichalk prepared our Lightning girls with perfection and helped them pull off a massive upset against #1 ranked Mulgrave Titans.

Rivals, the Mulgrave Titans are struck by Lightning in Senior Girls AA Basketball Provincial Championship for the second time in three years and LCS is once again BC Champions. Collete VanderHoven (TWU Commit) was named tournament MVP, Grace Bradshaw was a 1st team all star, and Gabby Vis a 2nd team all star. The team stuck to the game plan and played a full 40 minutes. They rode out the up and down momentum swings of a close game and confidently made plays. They never got too high or too low. A signature attribute of this team that undoubtedly comes from their coach Dani Gardner. She is a tremendous leader and builds character and joy filled confidence into the student-athletes. Our school enjoyed the support of hundreds of fans who were out in full force with upwards of 400 Lightning Nation supporters, Alumni, and families in the crowd.

2024 MVP – Colette Van der Hoven

1st Team All-Star – Grace Bradshaw

2nd Team All-Star – Gaby Vis

From a school perspective it was telling to see the multitude of supporters on hand Saturday. Students on other athletic teams, music students, theatre performers, and more. LCS students from all pathways were out in support of their peers. One school with many differently gifted and talented students coming together.


“I said to my players ‘Hey, enjoy it… find the joy in every moment, whether we win or lose.’ If we’ve gotten to this point, let’s have fun. And it was just joyous.”


Local high school sports journalist Howard Tsumara captured the details perfectly in an article he wrote the following morning. Howard is a gift to school sport and we believe you should take the time to read his reflections on the game. It captures perfectly what the Langley Christian School athletics program is all about and what our mission looks like in action.