Girls Semi Final: Handsworth vs. Argyle
It's a cross-town rivalry tonight as B.C.'s Honourable Mention Argyle Pipers took on the Handsworth Royals at Argyle on the girls side of the draw. Argyle opened up the scoring for this second semi-final game this Friday evening. Lizzie Mark-Worling scored the first for Handsworth with a lay-in countered by a three from Argyle's #10 Escat. The refs called Handsworth out for having 6 players on the floor with 6 minutes to go in the first quarter, although the 6th didn't appear to actually be on the floor. Sidney Fieldgate-Feenie would pick off Argyle's guard and take it all the way full-court for two, bringing Handsworth within 1 of home team Argyle. Handsworth continued to battle against Argyle's zone defence led by #13 Swant- Handsworth's guard #6 made a beautiful steal and went full-court for two to put Handsworth in the lead. That didn't last long as a quick reply from Argyle brought them back in the lead to finish the first quarter. Score at the end of 1? A microscopic 9- 8 for Argyle.
Argyle continued their zone defence into the second quarter, causing a Handsworth turnover by way of Swant who finished for two. Swant would steal the ball again a couple of possessions later and again finish for two, taking Argyle up by 5. Handsworth quickly took a timeout, but the coach couldn't settle his players as Handsworth had another turnover when play resumed. Handsworth put on a full-court press, broken quickly by Argyle, although they wouldn't score.
Midway through the second quarter, Argyle's #10 hit a baseline three pointer, contributing to their 11-1 run since the first quarter. A three from Handsworth's #14 would end that run, followed by 1/2 free throws for the girls in blue. Argyle would continue to push the ball efficiently, led by SFU-bound #13 Swant, and a couple of free throws later Argyle is up 14. At the end of the first half, Argyle leads Handsworth with a score of 28-18.
Coach McComb's half-time talk must've been good! Handsworth would go to the line for two to open up the second half and then cause Argyle turnovers in the next two possessions. Argyle's full-court press slowed Handsworth down in the back court, but Handsworth would continue their 9-0 run thanks to a beauty bank shot by #24 Strigl. This brought Handsworth to within one of Argyle. Handworth's McComb would hit a three after a couple of questionable calls from the stripes, putting Handsworth in the lead by 2 and extending their run to 12-0.
Handsworth would shut Argyle down from scoring for a solid 7 minutes into the second half. A highly-arced shot from the baseline for Handsworth took them up 4 on Argyle but Argyle's scoring drought would end as they dropped a field goal, coming within two. Thanks to Strigl's height and skill under the hoop, along with her calm counterpart McComb at guard, Handsworth would continue to lead as the third quarter came to an end. Handsworth finished the third quarter on a 16-2 run.
A double team by Argyle forced a Handsworth turnover early in the fourth, but Argyle wouldn't score off of it. Strigl hit a three to give Handsworth their biggest lead of 7 points. Argyle was slow to get their offence going in the fourth, but I can't say the same for Handsworth- Fieldgate, Strigl, McComb, Mark-Worling and Magelund kept things calm and steady for Handsworth well into the fourth. With four minutes remaining in the game, Handsworth's lead increased to 11 with a three from Strigl. With fresh legs for Argyle, they continued to press but couldn't stop Handsworth from hitting more long balls.
Argyle didn’t make it easy for Handsworth, pulling out all the stops including their full court press and double teams, causing several Handsworth turnovers, but it wouldn't be enough as Handsworth took the game 51-42, advancing to Saturday’s final vs. Walnut Grove.