Girls FINAL: Heritage Woods vs. Aden Bowman (Saskatoon)
On this Saturday evening in early December we are gearing up for a Finals matchup between the Heritage Woods Kodiaks and Aden Bowman Bears… could you ask for a more ideal head-to-head matchup than a Bear versus a Kodiak? Doubt it. In addition to the schools nicknames perfectly aligning they have both gone 2-0 to get to the final and will be looking to make that 3-0 by the time the clock strikes 7:30. After the viewing of the inspirational video giving meaning to the message of ‘No Regrets’, both squads are set for tip-off!
No shortage of energy in the gym as the teams have come out guns a slingin’! The competitive and physical post players have been on display in the early going with the out of town Bears running out to an 8-2 lead. December is generally considered a month where Bears are hibernating, but there are no signs of any snoozy bears in Collingwood’s gym tonight! The Kodiak’s jumpers have not been falling, but it feels like only a matter of time until their shooting heats up. A solid defensive effort by the Bears has led to a score of 9-4 with a few minutes left in the opening Q. The hard battles on the offensive boards are paying off as the Bears are consistently earning extra possessions and turning those into points. #14 Martin for the Kodiaks is working hard down-low and earning every point, and it is paying off. Heritage Woods has fought their way back into the game and ended the first quarter up 15-13.
A few clock issues have created a slight delay between the first and second quarters, but not to worry as our professional announcer has confirmed each team will not foul for the remaining three quarters to ensure the game finishes on time. In case this finals matchup needed any extra drama, a 10 minute shot clock delay will do the trick. In fact, in an attempt to stay warm the Bears are going old school with team jumping jacks to keep the heart rate up. As the game eventually continues #8 Griffin for the Kodiaks in her pink sneakers is finding a way to penetrate and create opportunities for herself and teammates. #14 Martin for the Kodiaks is causing damage from all areas of the court, including from deep as she nails a three from the far corner. This game has been as expected: close, feisty and entertaining. The game is tied at 24 a piece with 5 minutes to go in the half. The Kodiaks are testing out a full court zone press and it has shown signs of being effective - the Bears are going to have to organize their press break and look to turn that into transition scoring opportunities. The first half has had a bit of everything, high value for all the fans in the stands with the Kodiaks finishing the half up 34-28.
Halftime Fact: The average bear hibernates for 6 to 7 months a year.
The Kodiaks have come out in the second half and continued where they left off, controlling the pace of play and capitalizing on their scoring opportunities. Their efforts have led to an extended lead with the Kodiaks up 43-30 with 5 minutes to go in the third quarter. #15 Instant for the Kodiaks is making an instant impact with the steal and left handed finish at the rim pushing her team’s lead to 17 points. Our multilingual professional announcer has momentarily switched to Spanish commentary, likely subconsciously from his time doing play-by-play in Mexico; impressive. The Kodiaks have been making things difficult during this third quarter for their opponent, and the discomfort has pushed their lead to 19 points at the end of the Q.
The Bears are going to need the assistance of the long ball if they have any chance of getting themselves back into this game. A deficit of 20 with 10 minutes to go, well folks you can do the math, they are going to need to be efficient from here on out. The score differential has not fluctuated much during the first 5 minutes of the last quarter and the Kodiaks are up 18 with 5 minutes left. The Kodiaks ability to dominate the low post has been a difference maker, and speaking of different - the Bears have gone with almost a full line change getting 4 fresh bodies in the game. One last push for the Bears before succumbing to the inevitable, hibernation. In the end the constant pressure and strength of the Kodiaks in the post was too much for the Bears. The Heritage Woods Kodiaks are this years girls champions, and will be fortunate to hold onto the infamous golden shoe trophy for the next year! Final score 69-50.