COQUITLAM — Even without their Faith, B.C.’s No. 1-ranked senior girls AAA basketball team has the collective belief of a winner.
With 6-foot-3 senior centre Faith Dut sidelined by concussion on Friday, Surrey’s No. 1-ranked Semiahmoo Totems showed that their youthful resolve is still plenty dangerous in the second of two semifinals as Day 3 of the 2019 Top 10 Shoot-Out invitational came to a close at Centennial Secondary.
The Totems got tough play inside from Emily Wubs and Izzy Forsyth, each of whom scored a game-high 18 points, as Semiahmoo punched its ticket to Saturday’s 5:45 p.m. final against the No. 3-ranked Walnut Grove, defeating the No. 4-ranked Brookswood Bobcats 78-68.
Earlier in the evening, in the first semifinal, Walnut Grove had topped PoCo’s No. 2-ranked Riverside Rapids 87-79.
Dut, headed next season to an NCAA Div. 1 career with the Florida Gators, took an elbow to the head during tournament play on Thursday and did not accompany her teammates to Coquitlam on Friday.
“So I think we knew were tiny, a little small, so we had to move ball and attack as best we could,” said Totems’ head coach Allison McNeill. “We knew that it was next woman up and that we needed to step up and take care of Faith’s rebounds. They plugged it up in the middle, but we were able to hit some threes and we adjusted.”
“Emily Wubs stepped up and started in Faith’s place, and she is a more of a three,” said McNeill of her hard-working small forward. “She really rebounded and was solid for us. And the thing about Izzy is that she keeps diversifying her game. We have challenged her to do more things, and now her passing and her handling are better, she shoots the three better than a year ago, and she plays tough inside.”
Guard Deja Lee also played a critical role for the winners, never wavering from her attacking mindset even though the going was a little tougher with Dut’s absence.
“She was going against (6-foot-4 Brookswood post) Carsen Look and a couple of their other bigs and she was fearless,” added McNeill.
Raushaun Bindra added 14 for the winners, wile Tara Wallack added nine.
Neyha Lali led Brookswood with 15 points, while Jenessa Knapp added 13, Jenna Dick and Look 10 each, and Lexis Knop nine.
Last season, Semiahmoo beat Brookswood 87-56 in the quarterfinal round of the B.C. senior girls Triple A tourney, a game in which Dut had 18 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks.
Last season, as the then-No. 1-ranked team, Walnut Grove beat then No. 2-ranked Kelowna in the Top 10 Shoot-Out final by an 83-64 count. Kelowna came back to beat Walnut Grove 67-61 in the B.C AAA championship final.
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