The Lower Mainland AA Championship game held at Saint Thomas More did not disappoint, with Saint Thomas Aquinas and Brittania battling it out for the chance to be the Lower Mainland’s top seed heading into provincials. After a strong STA start, Britannia came back from an 11 point halftime deficit to claim victory 52-49.
“Basically I said we were only down 11, that’s three shots each quarter so it’s really nothing” said Britannia head coach Mike Evans to BC Sports Hub. “But we have to start the second half hard. I think we did, but that’s a tough team to play against with all their size.”
The Saint Thomas Aquinas Saints came out storming to start the game, using their size advantage to dominate the glass and get easy buckets inside. With an 11 point lead at half, it looked like the game would be over for Britannia.
“We realized we weren’t getting close enough to the basket” said Evans on what adjustments he made at halftime. “And even with our post player, we weren’t getting close enough, they were forcing us too far out. So we decided to run one of our players along the baseline and up into the far post, the idea being to try and get her the ball around the foul line. Then she would attack or offload to the post player, to get us closer to the basket.
[In terms of] our defensive intensity, we decided not to press anymore, so we pulled back but the kids naturally in the 4th quarter pressed anyway. We pulled back and played half court defence, and that seemed to stymie the other team.”
With the win, Brittania will be the number one seed coming out of the Lower Mainland, and number two in all of BC heading into the Provincial tournament. Evans says he and his team are looking forward to the challenge.
“A lot of it has to do with the seeding” Evans said on the upcoming tournament. “We’re second in BC, and it would be nice to stay there so we wouldn’t have to play the first place team until the final if it came to that.
Second thing is staying healthy, [and the] third thing is realizing that however far they’re behind, they can come back. This is our 25th win in a row, and I’m just so proud that they didn’t feel defeated they just seem to bring more and more energy as the game went along.”
Final seedings for Lower Mainland AA Girls teams
#1 - Britannia
#2 - Saint Thomas Aquinas
#3 - Saint Thomas More
#4 - Whistler (will play #3 seed from Vancouver Island on Tuesday, February 20th)
#5 - Little Flower Academy (will play #3 seed from Fraser Valley on Tuesday, February 20th)
Written By: Nick Bondi