Hapnot Collegiate's senior Kweens basketball team is continuing their storybook season, securing a spot in this weekend's provincial finals.
The Kweens, who entered provincials on a 25-0 unbeaten season and ranked third in the province, won in both the provincial quarterfinals and semifinals to earn a spot in the final game, set to be played Saturday at 2 p.m. in Souris.
Hapnot's first matchup would be against the tournament hosts, the Souris Sabres, who entered the weekend as the seventh seed in the province. The Kweens opened up an early lead on the Sabres, with a Shanti Church three-pointer giving Hapnot a 10 point lead late in the first half. At half-time, Hapnot led 32-19. The Kweens could extend the lead further in the second half, coming away eventually with a 67-46 win and heading into the provincial semis.
In that semifinal, the Kweens would face - by seeding - their toughest test so far this season, the Prairie Mountain/Nellie McClung co-op Predators. The team, representing players from high schools in Somerset and Manitou, entered provincials as the second-ranked team in Manitoba.
The Kweens proved up to the task early, leading the Predators 29-19 at halftime, but the co-op team battled back to make it 42-34 Hapnot going into the fourth and made it closer late, going on a run that tied the game at 44 with less than two minutes remaining. The Predators took a lead with moments to go, sinking a free-throw to go up 45-44, but Katrina MacQuarrie hit a three-ball to restore the Hapnot lead moments later, followed by Kaitlyn Fieber forcing a turnover in transition and later hitting a mid-range jumper to make it a two-possession game.
A series of clutch free throws would expand Hapnot's lead and ice the win, going from a 45-44 late deficit to a 52-45 win.
In the final, the Kweens will play the winner of a Friday afternoon semifinal between the fifth-seed Carman Cougars and the Rosenort Redhawks. The Redhawks enter this year's provincials as the top team in Manitoba and have also had an undefeated season, winning six tournaments. The Kweens and Redhawks have not yet played each other this season.
Video of the games, including a livestream of Saturday's final, can be found on the Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association (MHSAA) website.