The season came to an end in dramatic fashion on Tuesday for Cowichan Secondary’s senior girls basketball team.
Playing in a challenge game against Carihi, the T-Birds were hoping not only to win a berth in the North Island tournament, but also hoping to avenge a loss to the same team on Feb. 2. That game ended 46-30 in Carihi’s favour, with Ashton Aumen scoring 10 points for Cowichan and Madi Allen and Joelle Antufeaff chipping in seven apiece.
The Thunderbirds were better prepared for the rematch on Tuesday, and controlled play in the first half, taking a 17-7 lead into intermission.
“The girls came out with steely determination and eager for a win,” coach Michele Keserich said.
It was a different story when the teams returned to the court, however.
“Carihi came out pressing in the second half.” Keserich said. “And the girls had trouble adjusting and regaining control of the game.”
Things got intense in the fourth quarter until some questionable calls put Cowichan in foul trouble and Carihi in bonus. With 38 seconds left, Carihi drained two free throws. The T-Birds responded with a basket and went up by one, but another foul was called, and Carihi scored two more free throws to go up again.
“With five seconds remaining, we got the ball in and Ashton Aumen drove down the court on a tear, managing to get a shot off whereby she was fouled,” Keserich recalled. “With no time left on the clock, we were awarded two free throws but alas were unable to sink either, Carihi winning by a point.”
Maddie Mahon finished the game with 16 points, while Aumen had 10, and Antufeaff and Bonita Parmar had four each.
The previous Thursday, the T-Birds played their final home game of the season, a narrow 46-36 loss to top-ranked Vanier, a huge improvement from a 67-30 defeat by the same team in their last meeting. Mahon had 14 points in the rematch, Erin Harris had eight, and Aumen scored seven.
“With several games counting double, we were at a disadvantage in league play this season as we continued to improve dramatically with each game,” Keserich said.
“For example, in the Welcome Back tournament, we lost to Duncan Christian 54-29, however in a January exhibition game, the girls played a beautiful game of basketball and downed them 52-43, Aumen on a tear for 30 points, and Mahon sinking nine points. Relentless work yielded great results but not enough to continue our season.”