After five months of play, the women’s basketball league wrapped up Thursday at Vanier Catholic Secondary School.
In the finals, Takhini Gas, who ended the regular season in first, lived up to their seed by defeating Airport Chalet 58-46.
“I think one of the things was we had a sub,” said Takhini Gas’ Nathalie Gionet. “So we could get some fresh legs in. The first 10 minutes, or so, we weren’t boxing out, so they were getting second and third chances. Then we called a time-out and started boxing out on every man.”
The game began very close, with the teams trading the lead in the opening minutes. Only after Takhini Gas’ Jelena Antonic hit the mark for two to go up 19-18 did her team take a lead they would hold until the end.
“Definitely, we were out of gas by the end,” said Sarah Crane. “It felt, for the most part, pretty neck-and-neck. But there were a couple gaps where we were losing (possession) and they were making everything. That quickly added up to a deficit.”
Leading Takhini Gas on the scoreboard was Marie Cairns with 22 points, followed by Gionet with 17 and Lariena Twardochleb with 12.
“I’ve had better games, but I guess it was alright,” said Gionet. “Marie (Cairns) was really our sharpshooter tonight.”
For Chalet, Sarah Crane was at the vanguard with 18 points, while teammates Megan Freese and Anett Kralisch put 13 and 10 worth through the hoop.
To get to the finals Takhini Gas defeated Feature Foods 59-54 in overtime. Feature Foods battled back from a 31-18 deficit at half to push the game to overtime. Foods’ Angela Ell sunk a three-pointer in the closing seconds of regulation time to tie it.
Feature Foods grabs third
The opening minutes of the bronze finale made the difference.
Feature Foods hacked out an 10-point lead, and more-or-less held it to the final buzzer, to take third with a 58-46 win over Kopper Kweens.
“We went on a bit of a run at the beginning and they were able to claw their way up,” said Feature Foods captain Diedre Davidson. “We have Alcina Banks who’s just a fantastic rebounder. She’s got the height, the reach and the hops. She helped us out a lot for the last little bit.”
Fast breaks were a big help for Feature Foods at the start and end of the game. Most came through the same formula, with Angella Ell taking an up-court pass before sending the ball through the key to Annette King for the lay-up. Feature Foods’ last two baskets came in this fashion.
“We got a couple of them at the beginning of the game, but we just couldn’t make any of those shots (in the middle of the game),” said Davidson.
Although a lack of subs may have had an effect on Airport Chalet’s game in the finals, Kopper Kweens’ playoff hopes were directly dashed by low numbers.
In the semifinals, the Kopper Kweens actually defeated Airport Chalet, but had to forfeit the win because they had borrow two players from two different teams to fill the roster.
“Since Christmas we’ve been short, scrounging to make sure we can play,” said Kweens’ Ann Jirousek. “We lost five players off our team, so we were struggling.”
Even if the Kweens had beat Feature Foods, they would have had to forfeit that game too, having borrowed Megan Freese from Airport Chalet.
Despite the struggle to fill the roster, Jirousek considers the season a success considering last year the league failed to hold playoffs.
“This year has been the most competitive year for women’s league,” said Jirousek. “Everybody comes out and enjoys playing ball. But we’re here for different reasons; to escape the hockey rink—it’s a good therapy for the stress of everyday. We’re don’t have beer in the locker rooms like the hockey players do, but we usually sit around and chat and find out how everybody’s kids are doing.”
“This was a resurgence after a couple season with low numbers,” said Crane. “It was really fun to play a season that was competitive with lots of close games.
“More people should come out next year … The more the merrier.”
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