Despite a snowy day in Vancouver and a number of game cancellations around the lower mainland due to the weather, the Magee Lions and Churchill Bulldogs of Vancouver went on as planned in a Tier 1 VSSAA regular season game last night.
The Lions and Bulldogs were both looking for their first regular season win of the season, yet both teams struggled offensively early on. Victim to their opponents tenacious defense each team was held to single digit scoring through the first quarter. In the second quarter things turned around and the lids from the baskets were removed. #8 Janessa Seto of the Bulldogs opened the scoring with a hard drive for the finish at the rim while #13 Joy De Jesus hit the first bucket for the Lions with a fadeaway “3” as the shot clock expired.
The Bulldogs defense was still working well into the second quarter, which was forcing turnovers that sprung the speedy Churchill guards out in transition creating odd number breaks for easy buckets. With a short bench of only eight girls in total, it appeared that the Lions were getting tired vs the quick subbing routines of the 11 player Bulldog team. For the Bulldogs, #14 Olivia Penhall got the hoop and harm from a nice baseline out-of-bounds play. She missed the ensuing free throw, but the Bulldogs got the offensive rebound and putback for a quick 4-0 run. #9 Kristy Fan of the Lions stopped the Churchill run with a “3” of her own, but as the halftime buzzer sounded the Lions trailed by 14.
To start the second half #14 Harleen Dhaliwal of Magee knocked down a midrange jumper followed by a pair of impressive defensive rebounds amongst a crowded paint. The Bulldogs kept pushing the pace of the game in the third quarter led by #5 Lenette Ponce who nailed a jumper and was a pest in the zone press tallying a number of steals.
In the fourth quarter it was the Grade 9 players for each team that continued to impress. #13 Joy De Jesus knocked down another triple for Magee and stellar play on the defensive end, including back-to-back blocks, kept the Lions within striking distance. #8 Janessa Seto for the Bulldogs kept attacking in transition, slicing by the defenders with a skillful “euro-step” that earned her a trip to the charity stripe on one play. In the end, the Churchill Bulldogs came out victorious with a 48-25 win over the Magee Lions.
The VSSAA League now breaks for the holidays allowing teams to make adjustments and implement new sets for the second half of the season. Both teams, and the Tier 1 VSSAA return to play in the New Year on Tuesday January 9th.