It was another great day of hoops out at the LEC for Girls AAA provincial action. Here's what you missed if you weren't there.
Kelowna vs Yale
The Kelowna Owls are still alive.
They survived a quarterfinal matchup against the Yale Lions to remain the defending champs of AAA girls basketball.
However, Yale was playing with a major handicap compared to the deep Owls squad. Going into this game with just six players with Neelam Rai out with an ankle injury, they had every excuse to roll over and give this game to their opponents.
Instead they took it right down to the wire, and if they had gotten an offensive board in the final seconds they might have just pulled it off.
“The play a style where they expend too much energy, they set in zone” said Kelowna bench boss Darren Semeniuk. “They walk it up the floor. They’re picking their spots when to burn their legs and when not to.”
Yale led by two at the half, and in the second half the two teams traded buckets up until quite literally the final seconds. The Lions missed the free throw that would have tied the game, then missed the final three throw before Kennedy Dickie grabbed the rebound and held on for the win.
Dickie had 15 points and 14 rebounds, while Jaeli Ibbetson had a monster game with 21 points and 20 rebounds.
Semiahmoo vs OKM
Another game, another comfortable win for Semiahmoo.
The Totems continued their assault of the tournament, beating the OKM Huskies 86-33 and advancing to the final four.
They’ll now play the defending champions in the Kelowna Owls tomorrow. The Totems beat them by 30 just three weeks ago, but it will another test for this up and coming core to play the title holders in a tense semi-final.
“They’ve been focused on every team we’re going to play here” said Semiahmoo head coach Alison McNeil on her team so far in the tournament. “I don’t think it’s any one team but they do know they are the defending champs and until someone knocks them off they’re still the provincial champions. We’ve got our work cut out for us.”
Izzy Forsyth was named Player of the Game with 30 points and 12 rebounds.
Riverside vs Brookswood
The two games Brookswood and Riverside played during the season before this both went to overtime.
So no one should be surprised that this game gave us a heart stopping finish between two of the best shooting teams left in the tournament in a thrilling 90-86 win for the Bobcats.
Brookswood raced out to a 9-0 lead before Riverside could even muster a bucket. The full court press of the Rapids put on seem to tire them out in the first half — they shot just 19.5% from the field in the first half and were down 14 at the half.
However, they completely abandoned that in the second half and got to within 10 to begin the fourth.
“They just changed up and it took a bit to adjust to it” said Brookswood head coach Chris Veale afterwards. [. . .] Paul [Langford] and [Jeremy] Neufeld are good coaches. They changed things up, caught us off guard and we made a couple of mistakes early and they hit shots. That got them going.”
It looked like Riverside was about to pull off the miraculous comeback on a ridiculous three point shot from well beyond the arc that sent the entire gym into a frenzy.
“It scared me because she started doing what Sammy does” said Veale on his reaction to her game in the second half. “She’s popping back to 30 feet and draining it without hardly hitting the rim. I’m going ‘oh no.’ How do you guard that? My brain was going just play tough.”
Jenna Dick would get Brookswood back to within one with a three of her own before Olivia Ohlmann gave the Bobcats the lead they would not relinquish.
Jenna Dick would finish two assists shy of a triple double, while Riverside’s Jessica Parker and Sammy Shields combined for 68 of their team’s 86 points.
Walnut Grove vs Robert Bateman
The Walnut Grove Gators showed in this game why they and Semiahmoo are the clear favourites to win the AA title this season.
Their 86-45 victory over the Robert Bateman Timberwolves — a team that had handedly defeated Lower Mainland Champs Argyle the day before — was an emphatic end to the day of quarter final action.
And that’s not to say Robert Bateman was completely blown out — it was a close game for much of the first quarter — but from that point on the two seniors of Jessica Wisotzki and Tavia Rowell showed their chemistry with each other and their ability to carry the team to new heights. Wisotzki had 30 points and 13 boards enroute to Player of the Game honours while Rowell had 20 points.
The Gators will play Brookswood tomorrow in the second semi-final in what’s sure to be an amazing contest.
Written by: Nick Bondi