’Cats topple Titans in final
In a first half where nothing was going their way — foul troubles and an inability to hit their outside shots — the Brookswood Bobcats came to life in the second half.
The ’Cats rolled off a 9-0 run to start the second quarter to trim the deficit from a dozen points to three.
And Brookswood never looked back, using a dominant second half where they held the South Kamloops Titans to 14 points, to capture the B.C. junior girls’ provincial basketball title 60-50 on Saturday at the University of the Fraser Valley’s Envision Athletic Centre.
“We gave up 36 points in the first half, that is just too many to give up,” Brookswood coach Chris Veale said. “We just went in and talked about that at half-time.
“In the second half, we just played more to our style.
“We got the tempo up and put the ball in the hoop.”
The team knew scoring points would not be a problem, especially given their proficiency from beyond the arc.
And sure enough, the ’Cats came out in the second half and hit three consecutive three-pointers to turn a 12-point game into a three-point game.
In the first half, they had gone 0-for-9 from beyond the arc.
“To be honest, we were upset,” admitted Lindsay Wand, who was named a tournament all-star.
“But we had confidence because we always come out strong in the second half.”
In fact, this game followed the same script of Brookswood’s semifinal against Oak Bay: trailing by a dozen points at half, but winning by 10 once the final horn sounded.
“We just hit those shots and just started rolling,” Veale said.
By the time the third quarter horn sounded, Brookswood held a slim 46-44 lead.
And their defence and full court press continued to stifle South Kamloops, holding the Titans to six points in the final frame.
A big difference between the two halves was Veale being able to use Wand and Sydney Williams again.
Both were saddled with two fouls apiece in the first quarter and spent much of the first half glued to the bench.
“Those two out in the first half makes a big difference,” Veale said.
They each had 15 points to lead the team in scoring.
However, Wand picked up another two quick fouls and quickly found herself back on the bench.
Wand said she was rattled by the foul problems, but she knew her teammates would come through in the clutch.
“At the beginning of the season, we knew we had a good team,” she said. “We have depth on our bench and we can sub in players and we don’t drop down in our performance level.”
But Williams, who was named the tournament’s top defender, and Jessie Brown, named most valuable player, helped the ’Cats build a lead they would not relinquish.
Brown finished with 14.
Another player who stepped up was Elleni Asimakis.
Asimakis was able to put the ball on the floor and take advantage of the South Kamloops defender trying to stop her. She scored 10 points.
Wand said the team really wanted this championship, especially the Grade 10 players, who had never played in a provincial final before.
The team’s Grade 9 players had lost in the Grade 8 championship game last year.
South Kamloops, ranked third heading into the tournament, was the defending provincial champions.
“To be the provincial champions you have to beat the provincial champions,” Veale said.
“To be the best, you have to beat the best.”