Walnut Grove and Riverside came into tonight’s contest on the backs to completely different games. The Gators won easily 102-50 over Mount Baker, while Riverside came back from 20 down to defeat Claremont 86-76. For both teams at the outset, it was shaping up to be a close contest.
The Gators started strong, going on a 14-6 run after being tied at seven to take the lead. But two straight three’s from Riverside would cut the lead to two before the end of the first.
In the second quarter, Riverside was able to keep it close — at one point both Sammy Shields and Walnut Grove’s Jessica Wisotski traded deep threes.
But after a Walnut Grove timeout, the Gators went on an 11-2 run that set them up with an eleven point lead at half.
To start the second half, Walnut Grove started to slip. After Burton hit a deep three, the Rapids managed to get within four points. After a tight defensive stretch in the third which saw no points scored, the fourth quarter had Walnut Grove pull away for good. The Gators scored 29 points in the frame, compared to just eight for the Rapids — they only scored one point in the last 4:39 of the game. Walnut Grove took it 96-67.
“[We told them] that defence is the championship formula” said Walnut Grove head coach Darren Rowell afterwards to BC Sports Hub. “We needed to focus on getting some stops.”
Tavia Rowell and Jessica Wisotski both finished with over 30 points, scoring 34 and 31 respectively. Rowell also had nine assists and eight rebounds, while Natalie Rathler had 21 points to go with 16 rebounds. For Riverside, Jessica Parker had 20 points and Sammy Shields had 17.
Walnut Grove will play Abbotsford Senior tomorrow at 3:30 pm. The winner will play in the final at 5:00 pm on Saturday.
Written by: Nick Bondi