LANGLEY — With about 10 seconds left in the fourth quarter of the biggest win in the last six seasons of South Kamloops Titans senior girls, the stat monitor courtside flashed some pretty impressive numbers as they pertained to the young lady who was stepping up to shoot a pair of free throws.
Maddy Gobeil, the Titans virtuoso Grade 11 point guard, a Baden BCSSBA B.C. Super 15 Dream Team selection, and a most physical presence with the basketball in her hands, was on the verge of doing something pretty spectacular.
Then swish again.
Gobeil’s zone and focus was impenetrable and in a 71-52 B.C. Double A semifinal win over North Vancouver’s St. Thomas Aquinas Fighting Saints which propels South Kam into today’s 1 p.m. final against Chilliwack’s G.W. Graham Grizzlies, she finished 17-of-17 from the free throw line and led all scorers with 35 points, carrying her Titans into their first B.C. final since the team won the second of back-to-back Triple A crowns in 2013, the first year the event was held at the Langley Events Centre.
“She is a driven player,” Titans head coach Del Komarniski said. “She is highly motivated. She is a complete player. She shoots it, she drives it, she is physical, she handles it. She is the pulse of our team.”
The 35 points came one night after she scored 32 points and went 10-of-14 from the line in a 72-59 quarterfinal win over the Langley Christian Lightning.
Amazingly, as South Kam clung to a 45-41 lead after three quarters, Gobeil had made only three free throw trips.
And when STA’s talented guard Olivia Thorpe stole the ball and scored on a lay-in with 6:28 remaining to tie the score 47-47, Gobeil was a presence in the game, but not yet its guiding force.
Yet just as I wrote earlier in the week, when she was named to the Baden BCSSGBA B.C. Super 15 Dream Team, her essence is the presence she creates when she commands her dribble and attacks the opposition.
On a game-closing run fueled almost exclusively by the Saints having to foul Gobeil, she boosted those trips and never missed in beating a very young but very talented team of Fighting Saints.
Now, it’s on to face Chilliwack’s G.W. Graham Grizzlies in Saturday’s 3 p.m. final.
“The most important thing for us is that we need to do the things we do, and we need to do them well,” said Komarniski who at the time didn’t yet know the identity of his opposition. “If we do that tomorrow, I can live with any result.”
Gobeil added 13 rebounds, 6-foot-6 post Olivia Morgan-Cherchas 12 points and nine rebounds, and guard Lauren Walkley 10 points.
St. Thomas Aquinas, last season’s B.C. junior champions, were led talented forward Jessica Clarke who was held to eight points but grabbed a game high 18 rebounds. Her sister Rebecca Clarke had 10 rebounds. Thorpe led the scorers with 13 points while guard Kristinn Black added 10 points.
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