A furious second half comeback fell just short for the Seaquam Seahawks in their bid to reach the final four of the B.C. AAAA Girls Basketball Championships.
The up-and-coming No. 5 seed nearly overcame a 20-point halftime deficit in Thursday night’s 77-67 quarter-final loss to the No.4 Yale Lions at the Langley Events Centre.
Twice the Seahawks pulled within four points with plenty of time left on the clock, but their Abbotsford opponent held them off with just enough timely baskets or at the free throw line — hitting six straight from the charity stripe to finish the game.
Seaquam will close out the tournament with a pair of consolation games, starting with a Friday afternoon match-up with Victoria’s Claremont.
“I really felt like we were going to pull it off,” said Seahawks head coach Lucky Toor. “We definitely weren’t hitting shots (in the opening half) that we normally do and for me it was the law of averages, so we were just trusting the process of what got us here. You also have to give our opponent credit. They know we are a three-point shooting team and they defended the three-point line really well.”
The Seahawks only trailed 20-15 after the opening 10 minutes, but it was in the second quarter when the game got away from them.
The Lions went on a 15-2 run — forcing Toor to burn a pair of timeouts to try and stem the tide as his team couldn’t buy a basket despite plenty of quality looks.
Trailing 44-24 at the break, they began chipping away at the deficit and pulled within 12 on Nysa Sunner’s three-pointer at the buzzer to close out the third.
“The talk at halftime was simply about one word and that was to compete,” continued Toor. “I felt like we didn't match the intensity of the game, the physicality of the game. We obviously couldn't go back and replay quarter one and quarter two. I just said for you to walk out of here with your heads held up high. You got to leave it on the floor here for quarters three and four.”
Camryn Tait led the second half charge with all 15 of her points, while Sydney Roufosse was a force in the paint with 16 and plenty of rebounds. They are in Grades 9 and 10 respectively while Syra Toor (Grade 9), Callie Boost (Grade 9) and Neelum Sidhu (Grade 10) also logged significant minutes.
The experience being gained will be huge for the team’s extremely bright future, but Toor wasn’t interested in moral victories on this late night.
“The opportunity was in front of us and all week we were talking about why not now? That was kind of our slogan,” he added. “Obviously we had the mentality like, we're gonna take this game by game, but our goal was to win a provincial championship. We weren't just here to enjoy the party.”
The Seahawks opened the championships Wednesday with an 85-47 win over Reynolds.
City rival and No. 11 seed South Delta opened play with a 72-42 loss to No. 6 Kelowna, then defeated Langley’s RE Mountain 75-64 in consolation play.
The Sun Devils are scheduled to face Heritage Woods later today (Friday).