The two-time defending champion Kitamaat woman’s squad staved off the surging Similkameen Starbirds in a thriller Saturday morning.
The Haisla girls won by a final score of 45-39. It was a game of size versus speed, the much taller Similkameen against the faster Kitamaat squad. As the old adage goes, speed kills, and the first quarter was living proof. Kitamaat jumped out to a huge lead thanks to great defence and quick transitions from guards Adelia Paul and Mary-Ann Amos.
The Starbirds had been the Cinderella story of the women’s division, losing on day two against Prince Rupert, before running their gauntlet and winning six straight games, including avenging their day two loss in a dominant win over Prince Rupert in the semi-finals.
The game looked ugly early on for the Starbirds as Kitamaat jumped out to a 32-14 lead at the half. But the relentless squad from Similkameen battled back in the third on the back of the strong play Jasmine Montgomery-Reid and Jade Montgomery-Wardenburg.
The lead was cut to three to start the fourth but that was when Kitamaat pulled away.
Stifling defence from All-star and most-outstanding player award winner, Miranda Ross helped to shut down Similkameen’s two-headed monster, and Kitamaat’s lead slowly grew.
Following the win Ross only had one word on her mind, “Amazing” she said, “It feels absolutely amazing our defence stuck it out,” Ross said.
When talking about the dynamic Montgomery-Wardenburg, Ross said she can do it all, “She can cut, she can shoot she can rebound, we tried to key in on her and I tried to shut her down but my teammates helped so much,” Ross said.
Kitamaat’s trio of Ross, Amos and Paul were a huge part of holding Similkameen to only six points in the fourth quarter.
Clutch, something that described Paul’s game all tournament hitting clutch basket or coming up with a late game steal to the seal the deal, she was the go-to for the Haisla girls.
For her performance, Paul was awarded player of the game and MVP of the tournament.
FINAL SCORE: 45-39
MVP: Adelia Paul
Kitamaat: Adelia Paul (19) Kolynn Bolton (8), Mary-Ann Amos (6)
Similkameen: Jasmine Montgomery-Reid (13), Jade Montgomery-Wardenburg (9), Sofia Terbasket (6)
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