Senior A Basketball: Maaqtusiis girls place third at Island Championships

“I swear the whole gym was probably holding their breath.”

Maaqtusiis senior girls basketball team placed third in the Island Championships on Feb. 22 and 23.

Head coach Amy Jack said their playoff opening game against host team Duncan Christian School (DCS) was the toughest loss of the season.

“Beginning of the season, we had met up with Duncan Christian at the home opener, where we beat them for the first time ever. We knew what were up against. And, that’s who we played our first game against in the playoffs, we literally played point for point. Unfortunately, that game we come up short, losing by only one point with final score of 57-56,” said Jack.

The narrow defeat instantly put Maaqtusiis in the losers’ bracket, meaning they would have no chance of competing for first or second place.

“School ball is very different than, native ball per se,” said Jack. “Other tournaments we play double knock out rounds, which gives teams a chance to climb your way back to the championship ‘through the back door’ as we like to say. Rules are even different for the boys division in school ball. Girls only have the one berth, no chance of challenge. Boys, however, have two berths, and first berth, you have chance to challenge for better placing.”

Maaqtusiis went on to smash Gold River 85-28 in their next game. They played DCS again for third and fourth place. Maaqtusiis came out victorious in the end, beating DCS in overtime 62-59.

“I swear the whole gym was probably holding their breath,” Jack recalls.

“End of the fourth [quarter], it’s tie game, I remember one of girls making a foul, sending the girl to the free throw. The girl missed both shots. I immediately called for a time out once we gained possession. With only 17 seconds left, we went through what to run, but missed our shot and got no fouls called. Sending us into overtime again. It was a hard fought battle, but the girls pulled it off.”

Young Maaqtusiis player Synaizjah Swan, Grade 8, took home a tournament All-Star. Jack said Swan posted over 45 points for her team throughout the playoffs.

“Her All-Star was very well deserved. I couldn’t more proud of all them, they are all All-Stars in my eyes. Looking forward what they bring next season,” said Jack.

On the Ucluelet Warriors side, team manager Jason Sam told the Westerly it’s been a struggle of a season for the Warriors. Neither the girls nor the boys participated in the Island Championships this year.

“Our girls team folded, a couple of girls quit at the end and we didn’t have enough players to compete. Our boys were in the same boat,” Sam said.

READ MORE: New Canada Elite Basketball League partners with Canada Basketball (Dec. 6, 2018)

WATCH: 60th All Native Basketball Opening Ceremonies (Feb. 11, 2019)

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