For the Okanagan Mission Huskies, this has been a very special season.
And in the semi-finals of the BC 3A Provincials, against the McMath Wildcats, they weren’t about to let their storied season come to an end just yet. The Huskies left nothing to chance, leading by 20+ points at multiple points in the game and ultimately winning by a score of 80-67. The only scare of the game came when McMath went on a run to start the third quarter and trimmed the Huskies’ lead to six.
“I just told them to take it one possession at a time, and to step up our defence,” said Huskies head coach Meghan Faust. “If we get defensive stops, that will lead to our transition game.”
The Huskies grade-eleven star Lily Pink shone with 23 points, 13 rebounds, and five steals. Four other Huskies players scored in double-digits.
For the Huskies, success has been expected since the very start of the season. And success has come. They came into the season ranked as the number one 3A senior girls squad and held that ranking for the first two months of the campaign.
The run was highlighted by the Huskies winning the prestigious Tsumura Basketball Invitational in December, an 88-85 classic against the double-A Britannia Bruins. Grade eleven forward Makenna Jacklin enabled the win, coming out of a timeout and hitting a clutch three with twenty seconds left to put the Huskies ahead.
The run also saw the Huskies get two wins against the number three 4A team, the Walnut Grove Gators, win handily against the 2A number one ranked Langley Christian Lightning and the fourth-ranked 3A team Argyle in dominant fashion.
Only an 82-69 loss to the Marin Lenz and the Abbotsford Senior Panthers dethroned the Huskies from the top spot in the rankings. Playing in the provincials as the number two-seed, Faust feels her team has improved significantly since that late-January loss. “Our goal is to see improvements in every game we play,” said the Huskies proud coach. “In [the McMath] game, we improved our communication and just the little things —outworking our opponent”.
Heading into Sunday’s finals, the Huskies will either match up against one-seed Abbotsford or four-seed Argyle. “We’re super excited,” said Faust. “It’s been our goal to be here all year, and it’s our first time in the finals in school history, so we’re super pumped.”
Written by: Aly Dhanani