South Kam vs STA
This back-and-forth battle showcased two semi-finalists who fought with all of their will to stay alive. For one team, the chance to go for the gold, and for the other, a tiny taste of what could have been.
Both teams showed off their height early on in the game, with guards on either side of the court blocking well in the paint.
The intensity of the game showed on the faces of each team’s players. St. Thomas Aquinas played a mean defensive game and held their opposition’s key players to limited baskets. But it was South Kam who was relentless in their passing abilities, moving the ball with ease in transition.
The Titan’s head coach, Del Komarniski, did however have a short fuse for fouls. He made a statement of benching star forward Morgan-Cherchas after she incurred just one foul.
Roughly midway through the second quarter, South Kam pulled ahead by 10 points, creating a comfortable gap between them and their competition. The Fighting Saints sister-duo was held to minimal points in the first half.
Heading into the third, the Titans led 29-27.
STA played with more heart than ever in the second half, even leading in points for the first time in the game at the 8-minute mark of the third quarter. With Morgan-Cherchas back in the game, the Titans pulled ahead yet again. For the duration of the game, South Kam stayed on top.
At the three-minute warning, the Saints incurred a dirty foul, giving the Titans a chance at the foul line. Both shots were good
The Saints never gave up, though. Even when they trailed by 10, the girls pushed themselves to their absolute limit.
Sadly, it just wasn’t enough to come back. South Kamloops finished the game 71-52.
Player of the game, Maddy Gobeil, scored an incredible 35 points for the Titans. Following the win, she had this to say:
“It was a good battle for our team. I thought we came out doing what we needed to do to win. So, it was a team effort and it just feels good to be in the final now.”
Brtiannia vs GW Graham
Just by walking into the South Court gymnasium, you would have thought this was a Championship matchup. Both the Britannia Bruins and GW Graham Grizzlies had fans roaring along the sidelines before the game had even started.
The Grizzlies showed their strength by clawing for the ball on defence and sinking a critical 3 near the end of the first quarter. Heading into the second, they were up 17-14 over the Bruins.
Britannia looked as though they had seen a ghostly bear. Their layups were completely off. They lacked their usual energy on defense. And even their passing game saw one too many mistakes. They stood in GW Graham’s shadow for much of the first half, trailing by at least 4 points at any given moment in the second quarter.
At the half, the score was 29-24 in favour of the Grizzlies.
Both teams played with tremendous heart in the second half, but the Grizzlies fought hard to stay ahead by the end of the third by 13 points.
The Bruin’s Shemaiah Abatayo lessened the point gap early in the fourth quarter by sinking a crucial 3; however, Grizzlies’ Deanna Tuchscherer continued to dominate inside and outside the arc, clapping back with 5 points.
At the four-minute mark, a controversial call by the refs lit up the room when they fouled Deanna for a flop. For a moment, GW Graham’s momentum seemed to dwindle, with Britannia scoring an unanswered four points to follow.
It was all over when Sydney Fraess hit a beautiful layup with only 40 seconds to go, pushing the Grizzlies lead to nearly 10 points. Jaya Bannerman sealed the deal with two foul shots.
The GW Graham Grizzlies showed up for the entire 40 minutes, finishing with a final score of 66-53 over Britannia.
This would be their first win against the Bruins on the season, and more importantly, their first time ever going to the Provincial Championship game; truly a historical moment for this team.
Bannerman put up 15 points for the Grizzlies and won POG honours, yet again.
“It’s an honour, but I couldn’t do it without my team supporting me,” she said.
Coach Mouritzen had this to say after the Grizzlies’ big win:
“It’s history for us. We made provincials for the first time three years ago; this was the first time making it to the semi finals and first time finals—so it’s huge. For my girls, I’ve coached some of them for four years; I’ve had four of them for three years. It’s all we’ve been focused on and the dream to do that. They’ve never seen it. So this is huge for us. It’s all brand new. Britannia’s a great team; we had a plan and the girls just executed, it was awesome.”
The night ended off with Mouritzen receiving the hug of her lifetime from her two kids.
“This is my favourite hug ever.”
Be sure to check out the insane highlights from tonight’s Final Four games on our YouTube channel!
Written by: Crystal Scuor