LANGLEY — It’s one thing to believe in your ability to hit long-range jump shots.
It’s another to rest on it in the highest stakes game of your season.
On Friday, the depth of belief North Vancouver’s No. 1-seeded Seycove Seyhawks had in their three-point shooting game very nearly derailed their goal of returning to the championship final at the Telus B.C. senior girls Double A championships here at the Langley Events Centre.
The Seyhawks, losing momentum throughout the second half against a young-and-talented South Kamloops Titans’ team, hoisted 24 more attempts from the field than their foes, including a cold 6-of-30 from three-point range, but recovered in time to pound the ball inside and edge the Titans 67-60.
“Our shots weren’t falling whatsoever, and we said that we have to win it in the paint,” said Seycove head coach Darcy Grant, whose team faces the Vernon Panthers in Saturday’s final. “We had to be extremely aggressive down low and it took time, but slowly we got our groove back.”
After scoring nine points in the third quarter, Seycove exploded for 23 in the fourth, most coming very late, as forward Sage Stobbart starting getting touches in the paint as opposed to the perimetre.
“We just said during a time-out that we have to lock down and do this,” said the 6-foot-2 Stobbart, who finished with finished with 25 points, 17 rebounds and five blocks. “We just left everything on the floor.”
From their perspective, it was just in the nick of time.
South Kamloops, which looked totally out of its element in falling behind 18-7 after the first quarter, came out totally re-invented the rest of the way, leading by as many as five points in the third quarter before faltering down the stretch drive.
Led by 5-foot-7 point guard Maddy Gobeil, a talented and assured 10th grader who scored a game-high 29 points, the Titans pushed Seycove into the fourth quarter, and with the youth of its roster, sparked memories of the Titans teams which won back-to-back Triple A titles in 2012 and ’13.
That run, however, started with a third-place finish in 2011, something the current team, guided by the same coach, can accomplish this weekend.
“If we take bronze it will be the exact same thing,” said Ken Olynyk. “We’re planning on coming back and winning provincials.”
Gobeil even has two more years of senior varsity play left.
“She is one of the premier players in the province and as she gets better and becomes more of a finesse player, it’s going to be really hard to stop her,” Olynyk added.
Seycove got 19 points and seven assists from point guard Kayla Krug.
The Titans’ 6-foot-5 post Olivia Cherchas scored 10 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
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