LANGLEY — Maddy Gobeil wasn’t even a teenager when the South Kamloops Titans came south and won the B.C. Triple A senior girls basketball championship title back in 2013, in the first year of what has now become an annual March tradition here at Langley Events Centre.
“I don’t remember them,” the Grade 11 guard admitted in the moments after she helped carry the Titans back to the top of the high school basketball world for the first time since, supplying a game-high 27 points in a heart-stopping 73-67 overtime win over Chilliwack’s G.W. Graham Grizzlies in Saturday’s B.C. AA title tilt.
A younger generation of fans will certainly remember Gobeil and the incredible strength and consistency she brought in continually lifting her team towards their ultimate goal of winning a provincial title.
“It’s been what we have worked to achieve all season,” said Gobeil, who admitted she was dodging reporters all week so as not to jinx her team’s chances of winning. “Everything we do from the start of the season in the spring to now, getting up all those shots, it was for this moment.
“We were trailing late in the game, but I don’t know what it is about this team, we always find a way to win.”
Like when they found themselves trailing 34-22 but used a 14-2 first-half ending run to tie the game 36-26 at the break.
Or when after G.W. Graham’s spectacularly-talented forward Deanna Tuchscherer scored in the paint to give the Grizzlies a 64-62 lead with 19.2 seconds remaining, that the unflappable Titans just kept on coming.
“I just chucked up something and Kendra cleaned it up,” said Gobeil of her drive to the Grizzlies’ basket, her subsequent miss and the put-back follow by teammate Kendra McDonald that tied the game with 6.2 seconds remaining and sent it into overtime.
Once there, the Titans scored the first eight points of the extra frame en route to victory.
Put it all together and Gobeil was the MVP’s MVP.
Over her team’s last three tourney games, she scored 32, 35 and then 27 points, And along the way, over that span, she went 41-of-47 from the free-throw line.
Fittingly, the final point of Saturday’s win was by Gobeil from the free-throw line.
“This is awesome because these girls have worked so hard all year,” said Titans’ assistant coach Ken Olynyk, who was the head coach when the Titans won back-to-back Triple A titles back in 2012 and ’13.
“(Head coach) Del (Komarniski) does such a great job with the girls, and they are resilient. It’s a fantastic feeling.”
South Kamloops needed everything they could muster to hold off an incredible display of power, finesse and versatility from G.W. Graham’s Tuchscherer.
She not only scored 32 points and grabbed 15 rebounds with her ability to tussle down low, she showed her natural guard skills with four three-pointers.
“Deanna is so good and you have to do so much to try to stop,” said Olynyk, “plus they have others who are pretty darn good. It was the way it should be. Overtime. Down to the wire. For me, I am saying the best team won, but that’s not taking anything away from Graham. They were fantastic and they will be back next year.”
Grizzlies head coach Sarah Mouritzen was philosophical in defeat.
“When we went to overtime, I said to the girls ‘What more can you ask from a championship game?’” she said. “But we just didn’t have it in overtime. They gave everything they had. We had kids with injuries, kids fouling out. I am so proud of all of them.”
Lauren Walkley had 20 points for the winners, while McDonald had 12 points and 13 rebounds. Post Olivia Morgan-Cherchas had nine points and 14 rebounds.
Guard Jaya Bannerman added 10 points and seven rebounds for the Grizzlies.
This article was reposted with the permission of Varsity Letters and Howard Tsumura.