It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for: Championship Saturday. This year’s 3A Girls have been nothing short of impressive, with all the right pieces coming together to give some teams the upper hand, and others a trip to the losing bracket.
Kelowna Owls vs Semiahmoo Totems
In Friday’s Semi Final matches, the little Grade 10 team that could—the Semiahmoo Totems—played in a rematch of their 2018 semi final game against the Kelowna Owls.
This time around, they rewrote the ending.
With fans flocking from all around the province to watch these two teams take turns of leadership on the scoreboard, the game started out fairly even. Totems stayed up just 34-33 over the Owls at halftime.
Though Semiahmoo is made up of nearly all Grade 10 players, their moves are comparable to the Grade 12 stars who make up the majority of their competition. Kelowna included.
As Semi’s Deja Lee and Faith Dut put it into overdrive in the second half, they helped the Totems build a steady lead that would ultimately be too much for Kelowna to catch up to. Totems defeated the Owls by a final score of 82-63, sweet redemption from their fatal fall last year in the same round.
“We’ve been working hard all season for a moment like this,” said Deja, who was named Player of the Game after the epic win. “I think our offence and our defence—mostly our defence, because we believe our defence is in our hard work; that’s our heart.”
Deja (who had 15 points, 11 assists, and 8 rebounds) says to expect the Totems to play a defensively strong game in the Championship finals, as well.
“It’s our last game of the season, so we’re going to give it 100%.”
Brookswood Bobcats vs Walnut Grove Gators
Semi Final Friday was capped off with an intense battle between two hometown Langley teams who brought the absolute hype to the night. Seriously, it was so loud in the South Court; you could hardly hear the announcer each time a basket was made.
Though Grove came into this one as the favourite to win—based solely on their season up to this point—Brookswood kept up on the court in the first half. At any given moment, the Cats could take the lead and seemingly shut out 3-point God, Tavia Rowell, in the first quarter.
But leave it to those Gritty Gators: they chomped back with a vengeance and eventually were running circles around the Bobcats. Walnut Grove led 42-31 at the half and never looked back from there.
With powerful ball movement and high-flying layups, the deadly trio of sisters Jessica and Sophia Wisotzki, accompanied by Rowell, were too hot to handle. Brookswood ran out of gas in the end, despite an intense effort by Jenna Dick and the Bobcats. The final score: 73-63 for Grove.
For two straight years, the Walnut Grove Gators have booked a first class ticket to the Championship Finals.
Rowell, who was named Player of the Game with 25 points and 6 rebounds, was all smiles after the well-deserved victory. She says the Gators have their work cut out for them against Semiahmoo in the finals, though.
“We have to work hard on D, that’s one of our big things. They get in the posts, so we gotta keep working in there and make sure they don’t shoot the three. We just gotta outwork them. That’s how we’re going to win.”
Given it’s Rowell’s last year with the team, she is looking forward to ending her final season with her Gator girls who are more like family now.
“I love the atmosphere...it’s a fun way to end your senior year, so I’m excited for that. And playing with my seniors—Jessica and Ro—that’ll be fun.”
The Walnut Grove Gators will play the Semiahmoo Totems in the 3A Championship Finals at 5pm at the Centre Court of the Langley Events Centre. You don’t want to miss this one, y’all!
Written by: Crystal Scuor