Girls: Carson Graham vs. Barker College (Australia)
Written by: Stuart Mittlestead, Carson Graham Grad 2006
As the sun set on a frosty December day, the Carson Graham Sr. Girls Eagles in white were tipping off against the well travelled Barker College, from Sydney Australia, in red.
The game started quick as three tenacious steals by Sav Bauder had Carson Graham leading 10-4 five minutes in. A clean shot from behind the arc by Zek Baguinon stretched the lead to 9. Both teams, especially Carson Graham, with a short bench, kept rolling the subs early to keep the ladies fresh. Barker College was connecting some nice passes in the offensive zone yet having troubles converting early. The quarter closed with Syrena Bane converting from the foul line. Carson Graham led 13-6.
Two big blocks by #4 in red sparked the Aussies as they narrowed the Eagle’s lead to 4 early in the second quarter. Barker College’s rebounding showed no signs of jet lag as they collected many of the loose balls. The Eagles closed the half with baskets from Cross and Bauder. The score at the half was 21-13 for the home team.
The 2nd half opened with the teams quickly trading baskets. The Eagle’s #7, Elliott, was dialed in from the foul line, shooting nothing but net twice as Carson’s lead reached 10. The speed of Barker College’s Emma Vandervelde was causing the home team some difficulty as she drew many fouls. Carson countered with the long ball from Bauginon who converted two 3 pointers back to back. She had the spectators from Carson’s men’s team rather excited with her play. Heading into the final frame, the Australians had a 36-23 deficit to close.
A quick 3 pointer and a basket from the foul line narrowed the deficit to 11 early. The visitors kept up the sharp shooting and eventually narrowed the lead to four. “WE HAVE A GAME”. Subbing back in for the Eagles was Bauder, who is clearly a fan of the fast break. She converted another layup off the break to help stymie the Australian’s push. Number 11 in red once again used her speed to draw a foul while also draining the layup. An offensive rebound off a missed free throw allowed Barker College to tie it up at 41! A timeout by Carson’s Coach Nelson seemed to fire up his players as they showed intensity at both ends of the court. With one minute left it was still tied 43-43.
A free-throw from Stanley put Barker College up by 1 with 30 seconds to play. A cool and collected Grey from Carson went 1 of 2 from the line to once again tie it up. With less than 1 second to go the Aussie hero, Maggie Stanley, collected a rebound and put up a game winner from under the hoop while also drawing a foul. As the clock read 0.2 seconds remaining, Stanley put the meaningless free throw off the rim and with that Barker College hugged in celebration.
What a comeback from the Australians! They fought back from being down as much as 15 against a strong Carson Graham team. Both sides showed great skill, work ethic and sportsmanship on the court today and will rest up for matches tomorrow in their respective tournament brackets.