Updated: Dec 2, 2019
It was a beautiful day outside at Abbotsford Senior, and the basketball inside was just as great. Here's a complete breakdown of a lit final day from The Big Ticket.
Junior Girls - 3rd Place
MEI and Abbotsford truly battled throughout this whole game. The Panthers managed to tie it up early in the third, but the Eagles then went on a 6-3 run to seal the victory. Annika Hilderbrand hit a big three and got a big block to help secure the 'dub for her team.
Junior Girls - Final
The Junior Girls final pitted the Yale Lions against the Seaquam Seahawks. After a tense 1st quarter, it was tied at 11 with just over four minutes to go in the second quarter before Samara went coast to coast and bullied her way to the hoop to give the Lions a slender lead. Seaquam's full-court press got them a couple of key baskets, but that wasn't enough to give them the halftime lead. Yale was up 22-18 at the break.
In the second, the Seahawks stormed back, going on a 19-5 run in the third to take a commanding ten-point lead. They would eventually hold on to win 55-36. The player of the game was #2 Amar Thiara for Seaquam.
Junior Boys - 3rd Place
Both teams were looking to bounce back after a disappointing Thursday from their standards. After the Celtics led by five after the half, they outscored the Junior Panthers 19-5 in the third. That was enough to give them a 70-42 victory and a solid third place at The Big Ticket.
Junior Boys - Final
Perrenial powerhouse Burnaby South faced a team in Gladstone looking to make a name for themselves. The Rebels raced out to a 7-0 before two clutch threes got Gladstone back in it. Jordan Hayre tied it up at 29 at the 3:45 mark, before a 12-2 run got the Rebels a 42-31 lead at the break.
The second half saw Gladstone hit some tough shots, but the speed of the Rebels proved too much. Burnaby South took the game 65-53 and with it the Junior Boys title. Congrats guys!
Senior Girls - 3rd Place
Two well-run programs in Riverside and Heritage Woods faced off in a great contest. It was tied at 18 early and was close for the most part after, but a big run in the fourth saw the Rapids pull away for good. Brooke Kendal had 27 points for her team.
Senior Girls - Final
Terry Fox scored the first four points of the game, but the Gators would eventually lead after the first 23-17. In the second, a swell of Raven's power got them a 30-29 lead but was eventually tied up at 37.
The second half saw both teams trade big shots in the third quarter. In a nail-biting fourth quarter, Terry Fox was hitting three after three to keep them in it. Cerys Merten made a big three-point play to give her team the lead, and then Juliana Jacobs hit a clutch three to make it 65-64.
It came down to the final moments. Up two, Taylor Matthews made a clutch three-point play to give the Ravens a five-point lead. That's what they needed to take the game 77-72 and the senior girls title for this young squad
Senior Boys - 3rd Place
The Saint Patrick Celtics got back in the win column with a win over McMath. The Celtics won 62-57 in a potential big AAA rivalry down the line.
Senior Boys - Final
Hosts Abbotsford Senior and Yale played for Abbotsford bragging rights in the final game of The Big Ticket. The atmosphere was electric — I was packed into the stands even before the opening tip-off.
To start the game, Brandt Lenz went on a heat check that sent the home crowd into a frenzy. Ben McGabbond then did a heat check of his own, and the Panthers were up 16-9 early. Jayden Burga hit a three of his own, and the Lions started getting back into things. They led by one, after one.
In the second, Jesse Davis hit a ridiculous three to give his team a brief lead. Both teams traded points for a bit until Jayden Bains brought down the house with a monster slam. That seems to give Yale the momentum for a bit, but they weren't able to stop the distance shooting of the Panthers. Abbotsford led 49-46 at the break.
To start the second half, both teams went to work shooting three's. Abby got the biggest cheer of the night when they ended up blocking a Yale three-point attempt. They led by eight after three.
The final quarter had Yale tighten up defensively and pull to within four early. But Abby #14 drained a long three to had the bench PUMPED. That led to their 79-70 lead early, which eventually ballooned into a 15 point lead. Yale would slowly cut that down, but there was just not enough time for them to finish the comeback. Abbotsford Senior won 94-86 and win the Senior Boys division. Congrats to both teams on one great game to end the tourney.
Written by: Nick Bondi