Calm after the Storm: MVP Maddy and her Titanic Titans Win 2019 Provincial Championship
It was a scene out of a movie: the gymnasium was packed with fans banging on garbage cans and hollering at the top of their lungs as the GW Graham Grizzlies and South Kamloops Titans stepped onto the court for their final battle at the BC’s.
The opening minutes saw the Growlin' Grizzlies baring all-claws-out, as they were first to hit the scoreboard. Right off the tip, this was bound to be a tightly contested matchup. Titans’ sharp shooter Maddy Gobeil was poised and ready to attack, though. She brought South Kam back to within just two points around the midway point of the second quarter.
Thanks to another easy layup, Titans equalized at 22 with just under three minutes to go. However, one of the Sister Skyscrapers—Julia Tuchscherer—smacked one in from the field to ensure her team stayed up on the scoreboard. After the Titans grabbed another two, Kendra McDonald went wild in the paint to hit another FG and put South Kam up 27-25 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Titans took control offensively and gave minimal room for the Grizzlies to find the basket. With less than five minutes to go, GW brought the point deficit to just 7 points. Deanna Tuchscherer struggled from the field, which gave the South Kamloops a spurt of momentum and allowed McDonald yet another trey.
To close out the third, the South Kamloops Titans were up 47-34 over the GW Graham Grizzlies, thanks to a quick layup from Olivia Morgan-Cherchas.
With just 10 minutes to go, the Titanic Titans held on tightly to the lead, simply shutting down any chance of the Tuchscherer Towers to bring it back for the Grizzlies. Despite an amazing effort on both ends of the court and an unbelievable atmosphere of fans straight off the bus from GW Graham, South Kamloops proved yet again why they deserve to be crowned the Provincial Champs for a second consecutive year.
Titans defeated the Grizzlies by a final score of 70-43, while Maddy was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament for back-to-back seasons.
Gobeil had 29 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 steals. Holy bananas. She says the team knew exactly what they had to do in order to come out victorious over the Grizzlies, yet again.
"We had a game plan for Deanna and her sister, of course, because that was going to be the core thing we had to do to win this game. Our mental efforts were there the whole game and we were always giving it 100% of our effort."
She says she's extremely proud of the team for stepping it up this year and that the repeat win "doesn't even feel real". Given this is Gobeil's last year with the Titans, the final big matchup was bittersweet.
"I'm going to miss [Coach K]. He's funny, but he finds a way to make it so serious, it's a good mood to always be in when we're playing the game."
Coach Del Komarniski watched as Maddy and the girls jumped for joy following the game. A glimpse of sheer pride in his eyes, too.
"Winning two years in a row is special and obviously feels great, but each year has its own level of uniqueness that distinguish the championships from each other," said Coach K. "Each team dealt with its own adversity in its own way while building the character necessary to be a champion."
Moments after the game came to a close, Maddy was embraced by her mother for a hug that could be felt around around the court.
"Kamloops has a deep history of outstanding basketball players and Maddy has established herself as one of the finest players we have ever produced," Komarniski relfected. "She never shortchanged our team with regards to effort and her development as a leader this year propelled our team to a championship.
She’s a generational talent. Pure and simple."
Congratulations to every single team who competed in the 2019 AA Girls BC Provincial Tournament. And a special shout-out to the South Kamloops Titans, who for two years have been an inspiration to our province; to the girls who play ball now and the ones who will inevitably join the rosters in the future, and to every coach, parent, and fan, too.
Thank you for constantly showing us what sports are all about: coming together as one to enjoy the game we love so dearly.
Written by: Crystal Scuor