The Girls Tsumura Basketball Invitational Tournament tipped off this past Thursday featuring many of the provinces top teams. This years tournament is STACKED with eight of the Top 10 AAA teams, three honorable mentions, and four of the top five Top 10 AA teams all playing for early season bragging rights. By Saturday morning the semi finals had been set. Walnut Grove vs Semiahmoo and Abbotsford vs Riverside.
#1 AAA Walnut Grove Gators vs #10 AAA Semiahmoo Totems
Walnut Grove is the number one team in the province for a reason. Their defence is sound and their offence clicks which gave them the early 25-13 lead after one quarter.
The Totems were doing their best to stay in it with #9 Deja Lee forcing turnovers in the full court and #10 finding her space against the 2-3 zone going for some easy buckets inside. For the gators, #9 Jess Wisotzki was brilliant in the quarter erupting for 11 points. Walnut Grove kept their foot on the gas pedal throughout the second quarter expanding their lead to 52-29 at the half.
Semiahmoo came out of the locker room playing inspired basketball, doing their best to keep their bid for an upset alive. #5 Raushan Bindra of Semiahmoo came out firing going for her own 11 point quarter including a pair of deep triples. Despite their best efforts to close the gap, Walnut Grove was there to answer every call, with standout #11 Tavia Rowell going for 10 points of her own in the third quarter. The score at the end of the third was 78-49 for the Gators.
Refusing to give up, the Totems scored the first four points of the quarter and #5 Raushan Bindra continued her hot shooting. #9 Deja Lee Semiahmoo hit a jump shot and got another steal on the ensuing play that led to another bucket by the Totems which closed the gap to 18 points with five minutes to play. That was as close as the Totems would get as #5 Sophia Wisotzki of the Gators hit a three to end the Semiahmoo run and the teams traded buckets until the end. Final score 96-78 for Walnut Grove.
#4 AAA Riverside Rapids vs #5 AAA Abbotsford Panthers
The Rapids and Panthers exchanged blows throughout the first quarter in an evenly matched fight. #8 Kelsey Roufosse of the Panthers scored a lay-up to end the first quarter to make the score 18-17 in favour of the Rapids.
Abbotsford got hot and didn’t look back. They opened the second with a quick 5-0 run with #13 Kithinji the beneficiary of some nice ball movement leaving her wide open for a lay-up. For the Rapids, grade 9 standout #25 Sammy Shields knocked down her third and fourth triples of the half to keep Riverside close. To end the quarter #10 Marin Lenz of the Panthers came to life scoring seven points while creating easy opportunities for her teammates by penetrating the defense. Score at the half 46-28 for Abbotsford.
Both teams opened the second half on fire knocking down jumpshots from all over the court. Midway through the third, turnovers began to plague the Rapids and Abbotsford opened up a 17 point lead. The Panthers defensive pressure coupled with their hot shooting had the leading 73-54 to end the third.
Abbotsford stayed strong behind the play of #7 Sydney Fetterly, but Riverside mounted a comeback behind #9 Jessica Parker. Their defence started producing stops and aggressive drives on offence earned them multiple trips to the free throw line, which closed the gap to 13 points with four minutes to play. Behind the excellent all-around play of #10 Marin Lenz Abbotsford managed to close out the game setting their finals date with the Walnut Grove Gators.