Buckle up, folks. This game was a roller coaster on the court.
South Kamloops opened up the scoring with a slight run, putting 4 points up before the Grizzlies could sink a basket. However, both teams showed up early on and were able to put up points on nearly every possession. Midway through the first quarter, the Grizzlies and Titans were tied at 10.
The Titans splashed two back-to-back 3s, followed by another five points heading into the second quarter with a score of 24-19.
GW Graham struggled to control the ball for the first five minutes of play in the second, but made a promising comeback to stay within just 3 points of South Kam heading into the final half.
To start the third quarter, the Titans utilized their height to pull ahead by five points yet again, but Grizzlies Katherine Walkley sunk a wet 3 to tie it up 43-43.
The girls continued to attack, eventually giving GW Graham the lead.
South Kam fought back to take the lead 53-52 with one minute of play left in the third. However, Deanna Tuchscherer had a chance at the foul line—due to a sloppy foul by the Titans—and put another two points on the board.
With just one quarter left to play, both teams were tied at 54.
Just as you’d expect in any fourth quarter Championship game, the crowds were booming, the basketball balls were flying, and the athletes were battling it out with every bit of strength they had left to give. Both teams held their own in the paint, putting up 6 points each at the five-minute mark.
South Kam put up another two, holding a slight lead with two minutes to go. Super woman Jaya Bannerman hit a critical 3 to put the Grizzlies back in the game, tying it up 62-62 with nearly 1 minute left in the game.
You know the saying about tension in the air being so thick you could cut it with a knife? Scratch that one. Tension levels were so heavy people were literally choking.
With under a minute to go, both teams hit a layup, making it 64-64. Although, neither was able to score before the end of the second half, so this game was going to OT.
There’s never much love when we go OT.
The Titans hit an early 2 to take the lead while the Grizzlies struggled to find the basket on their first two possessions. Rohkeya Diaou was called on a foul, giving South Kam another chance for 2, which worked in their favour.
The struggle was real for GW Graham; however, they never gave up hope. Trailing by 4 points with less than two minutes to go, the Grizzlies took full advantage of foul calls to keep possession of the ball.
Sadly, they were unable to find the net.
GW Graham was fouled four consecutive times, ultimately giving South Kam too many chances at the line. The Titans gained 8 points on their opponents and finished them off on the scoreboard 73-67.
It was a hard fought battle by the Grizzlies, who had never been to this level of the tournament before today. Taking home a silver banner is something to be proud of, and Coach Mouritzen will likely praise her girls for accomplishing something that has never been done before in their athletics program.
The South Kamloops Titans rightfully earned their golden banner, with Maddy Gobeil named player of the game for the second time in the tournament. She put up 21 points for her team.
Coach Del Komarniski was nearly at a loss for words after the game.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet to be honest. I feel pretty good, don’t get me wrong, but that was a great effort on GW Graham. It was a good effort on our girls too,” he said. “Arguably our best game of the year.”
As the Titans hugged each other and wiped tears of joy from their cheeks, Komarniski beamed with pride as he smiled in their direction.
“I’m thrilled with them and just so happy.”
Congratulations to every single team that made it to the AA Provincials this year. And a special congrats to the South Kamloops Titans for taking home the 1st place banner.
Written by: Crystal Scuor