The bridesmaids finally tried on the fancy dresses in Kamloops last weekend.
The Holy Cross Crusaders erased two years of bronze-medal frustration with a dominant run to the gold medal at the 2013 B.C. Senior Girls AA Basketball Championships.
Ranked number one in the province heading into the event, the Crusaders lived up to their star billing by outscoring their opponents 319-138 in four decisive wins in Kamloops.
"It's pretty satisfying to win it," said Crusaders coach Steve Beauchamp. "I've heard from a lot of former players with tweets and emails and they're all so happy for us. Hearing from them adds to the accomplishment because it's been a long journey and to finally reach the mountaintop is pretty special. It all started with those former players who established a tradition and helped build a program that made this possible."
The Crusaders opened the tourney with a 116-21 blowout win over Trail's JL Crowe and followed that up with a 72-37 rout of Duchess Park in the quarter-finals.
Beauchamp said while his girls had few problems in their first two games of the provincials, the semifinals represented a dragon the Crusaders had yet to slay. In each of the two previous provincial tournaments Holy Cross was upended in the semifinal round and memories of those heartbreaks clearly affected some members of the team.
"You could see some nervousness in the semifinal with our older players who had been there before," he said. "The semifinals is where we had stumbled the previous two years and I'm sure it was on their minds. Wellington gave us a tough game in the semifinal too, but we weathered that and took the game over in the second half. We never made it to the finals the last two years so you could see the relief when that game was over."
Michelle Bos scored 20 points with five rebounds and four assists to steer Holy Cross past Wellington 61-40 while Amy Sprangers helped out with eight points and 12 rebounds. Rachel Beauchamp finished with 16 points.
Saturday's title game pitted the Crusaders against Vernon where Holy Cross raced out to a 35-16 halftime lead and never looked back en route to a comfortable 69-37 win.
Bos held the hot hand again with 16 points and was named the tournament's MVP. Rachel Beauchamp drained 14 points and was named to the all-star team along with Sprangers and Nicole Vander Helm.
South Surrey's Southridge Storm finished 10th overall in the girls tourney. Ashley Andreou was an honourable mention all-star selection.
The bus ride back to Surrey wasn't all smiles and giggles for the Crusaders. The Holy Cross girls brought back gold, but the school's top-ranked senior boys team had to settle for bronze after being stunned 67-54 by eventual champion Kelowna Christian in the Friday's semifinals.
"It just wasn't our day, it's as simple as that," lamented Holy Cross coach Matt LeChasseur. "Our kids were disappointed obviously but they bounced back the next day to finish with a win. I was really proud of the way they handled it."
Holy Cross opened the tourney with an 83-44 romp over Charles Hays followed by a crucial 61-50 win over a strong St. Michael's University School team. After being caught flat-footed by Kelowna Christian Friday, the Crusaders bounced back with an 86-75 win over Victoria's Lambrick Park in Saturday's bronze medal match.
Grade 10 point guard Taylor Browne was a first team all-star selection while Henry Maduabueke received second team honours.