LANGLEY — It was a basketball game whose flow, while filled with pace, seemed to be playing out as if being held on a short leash.
No big swings either way, buckets being answered with buckets, stops being answered by stops. You know the drill.
But then, midway through the fourth quarter, like something that just fell out of the sky, Port Coquitlam’s precocious Terry Fox Ravens dropped a 10-0 run on Abbotsford’s Yale Lions.
In a game to decide the final berth to Saturday’s B.C. Quad-A senior girls basketball championship final, it proved to be the game’s most telling 88 seconds, as one season after winning the B.C. junior title, the all-Grade 10 squad from Terry Fox graduates to face the Semiahmoo Totems for all the senior varsity spoils on Saturday (5 p.m.) at the LEC.
“That was the big game changer,” agreed Ravens’ compact point guard Cerys Merton, who before fouling out of the proceedings, supercharged the run with back-to-back driving lay-ups of the coast-to-coast variety, the final drawing contact and finishing as a three-point play. “It gave us the momentum and the energy to set us up for the win.”
Cerys Merton’s back-to-back coast-to-coast lay-ups spur Terry Fox’s late 10-0 run, Ravens top Yale in Final Four to draw Totems in Quad-A final! https://t.co/KEow0qoXS4@tfsathletics @langleyevents @bc4agirlsbball @yalebasketball @totemsbball @allisonmcneill @VancouverFrosty pic.twitter.com/N5jlDvOTUF— Howard Tsumura (@htsumura) February 29, 2020
The run started with 6:58 remaining on a jump shot by Ana-Maria Misic, and closed with 5:30 left on a pair of Emily Sussex free throws.
Yet the guts of the surge belonged to the dynamic Merton, whose full-throttle, passion-filled style perhaps more strongly defines the Ravens than anyone else on the team. On her two lay-up forays, she put the ball on the floor and covered 94 feet like she was preparing for the Olympic sprinting trials.
“What can you say about her,” said Ravens co-coach Mike Carkner of Merton, who scored a game-high 24 points. “She is the heart and soul of her team. She is like that at practice every day. She just leaves nothing on the floor, and she is just a wonderful leader for our team. She makes our engine go.”
Misic finished with 19 points and 17 rebounds for the Ravens, while Emily Sussex and Lauren Clements each scored 15.
Clements, however, was helped off the court by teammates after suffering what appeared to be a nasty ankle sprain.
Carkner was unsure of the starter’s status after the game.
Sisters Neelam and Karishma Rai battled valiantly for the Lions and scored 15 points apiece.
Yale, whose largest lead was eight points in the first quarter, also got 10 points from Lily Borseth.
Next up for the Ravens are those Totems, now winners of 56 straight against B.C. competition.
“That is such a great team, so well coached, that for us, we’re just thrilled to be out on the same court as them,” said Carkner.
“We’ll give it a shot, I mean, these kids are fun,” he said of his charges. “We’ll give it a shot.”
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