The Caronport Cougars tried a late push, but it wasn’t enough, as they fell to the Vanier Spirits 82-75 in the senior girls basketball semifinal game on Wednesday evening.
Both teams kept it close throughout the game as they exchanged leads through all four quarters. The Cougars started the game rushing the ball up the court and playing a pressure defense, but were not able to capitalize on easy-break points. The Spirits also used their press to frustrate the Cougars guards and create turnovers.
“The girls played well tonight,” said Bob Gottselig, head coach of the Spirits. “They worked hard and executed the game plan that we came into this game with and they made the modifications to that game plan as the game wore on.”
Caronport used the press defence early in the game to try and create panic on Vanier’s ball handlers, but Molly Cox, Morgyn Olmstead, Lian Langton and Katie Reidy all were patient and control the ball well up the floor.
“Caronport’s press was effective for a number of reasons. I think the score and time in the game had everything to do with it…it was a lot of panic and it was a game where we went into it with a concept of how we were going to break their pressure, but the pressure they applied early in the game, we had no problem with,” stated Gottselig. “I think all those turnovers were the result of Caronport being overly aggressive in the first part of the game and they were in panic mode and they put us in panic mode…they did great things, but they did high risk things. Yes, we did panic and we are going to have to address that in our practices this week.”
The Cougars came out with a strong first half, even heading into the half time break with a one point lead, but they just couldn’t find the answers to Vanier’s hard defence and get the comeback win.
“Vanier played a great game. They came out and pressed us and we didn’t have an answer to it,” said Leigh Wolverton, head coach of Caronport. “We came out and pressured them and tried to close the gap, but it was too little too late.”
For more on this story, read an upcoming issue of the Times-Hearld.