With just four teams remaining in the Jonathan Taylor Legal Beagle Invitational--host school Terry Fox being one of them--the atmosphere in the gym was beyond hype on Day 2.
Just a short little recap, in case you missed the morning games:
The Holy Cross Crusaders played their first game at the Beagle and defeated the Vancouver College Fighting Irish. And Tamanawis also played their first game against Oak Bay, who knocked out the Wildcats before they could even get a taste of the Legal Beagle gold.
Alas, the semis!
Holy Cross Crusaders vs. Kelowna Owls
After an epic morning battle with the Fighting Irish, the Crusaders hit the court with a huge jump in their step--aka, Uyi Ologhola slammed in two wicked dunks to start the first quarter. Holy Cross went on a nice 11-0 run, which eventually was broken up by the vicious Kelowna Owls, who even took the lead for a slight moment. The quarter ended with both teams tied at 18.
In the next quarter, each team put up another 20 points to finish the half off 38-38.
Much of the third followed the same pattern, with K-Town's Parker Johnston showing off his skills in transition. It wasn't until the final 14 minutes that Holy Cross awoke the beast within and eliminated the Owls.
Cross won their second match of the day with a final score of 81-72 over an insane Kelowna team. Despite the Owls loss, they played with extreme heart and we congratulate them on their efforts.
POG went to Crusaders' Tee Anim.
With the W, Holy Cross claims a spot in the Legal Beagle Finals on Saturday at 7:30pm.
Oak Bay Bays vs. Terry Fox Ravens
All the gym was a stage. With fans pouring in to cheer on the hosting Terry Fox, it truly felt as though you were trespassing on private property if you weren't cheering with the home squad.
Despite the tremendous hype (and a bit of intimidation), the Oak Bay Bays crashed into the lead early on showing the crowd they were not afraid of a few birds. Diego Maffia did his thing and dropped in a couple 3s, but Fox clapped back by never staying too far behind. Jacob Mand carried the team and eventually found his mark on Maffia to settle down the point domination.
The first half ended in favour of Oak Bay 34-32.
In the third quarter, a roaring crowd chanted "OVERRATED" every time Maffia touched the ball, seemingly affecting the star shooter slightly in the paint. But the Bays rallied around their brother and kept up on the scoreboard. They stayed ahead of the Ravens 56-55.
Just one quarter remained and both teams were literally sweating up-and-down the court. Terry Fox took the lead within the first few minutes and continued to make defensive moves to stay on top. They did so until the end, where Oak Bay came to within just 2 points with under a minute to go. With a nasty travel call, the Bays were stripped from a chance to tie it up. After yet another foul against Oak Bay, Fox put up another 2 points to climb just a bit more.
Hold the phone, though. The Bays splashed in a WET three to trail by just 1 point with 9 seconds to go...
...would it be enough?
Mand found himself at the foul line and popped in just 1 of 2. Ravens led 72-70. This game came down to one last play.
Let's talk about the word "overrated" for a moment. In definition, overrated means to "have a higher opinion of someone than deserved." Now, with chants directed at Diego Maffia the entire game calling him overrated, you'd think he wouldn't live up to the high opinion that [most people around the province] think he's one of BC's finest.
But come on, y'all. If you want anyone to hit a crucial game-winning three to win the semifinal against the hosting school, you better believe Maffia is gonna be your guy. And that's exactly what Diego "Overrated" Maffia did. With a splash, he hit a buzzer beater to clinch a spot in the championship finals.
After the game, Maffia ran past disheveled fans, up the bleachers of the home team, and straight into the arms of his teary-eyed mother, Wendy. With a big smile on her face, that hug could be felt all around the gym.
What a game; what a win! If you missed it, watch our highlights below:
Oak Bay will battle it out for the gold against Holy Cross at 7:30pm on Saturday, December 12th. Keep it locked on BC Sports Hub for all the scores and highlights!
Written by: Crystal Scuor