Basketball fans were treated to a classic nailbiter in the Hope Secondary gym last Friday.
The senior Mustang girls’ were in the opening game of their home tournament, against BC Christian Academy of Port Coquitlam — and Hope only led by two points at the half, 20-18.
A couple of treys in the third quarter helped the visiting Panthers pull ahead 34-31, but the Mustangs were ready to battle. There were more fouls called in the final quarter than in the rest of the game — and the Panthers made two more points than the Mustangs could manage at the foul line.
With four minutes to go, Morgann Steeves sank one from the foul line to bring the score to 38-38.
At 3:18, Mina Kim gave Hope a 41-40 lead and Steeves added a single at 2:15 to make it 42-40. The Panthers answered with two points from the line, tying the match again.
Jamie Peters then took a pass from a throw-in and sank a shot to put Hope up 44-42 and Kim sank two free-throws with a minute remaining, giving the Mustangs a 46-42 lead.
The Mustangs poured on an aggressive forecheck and were picking off the visitors’ passing, but the Panthers sank three of four foul shots in the last minute.
Down by a single point with only seconds left, the Panthers’ hottest shooter, Shamara Abraham, unleashed a hail-Mary shot that banged off the rim and the Mustangs contained the ball to secure the 46-45 win.
Coach Tammy Nazarchuk said the following game against D.W. Poppy on Saturday morning was a very aggressive match.
“We had three of our players foul out in the first half,” she said. “It was 27-23 for Poppy at the half but they pulled away after that.”
Final score: 69-50, with Azalia John netting 26 points, four of them from the foul line.
“Poppy ended up second in the tournament,” added Nazarchuk. “Mission Ecole won it, by about 20 points.”
The Mustangs were schooled by Burnsview, 60-22 in their third game.
“Hope’s tournament all-stars were Morgann Steeves, Azalia John and Jamie Peters,” said Nazarchuk, “with honourable mention to Arden Sauvé.”
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Hope Secondary’s annual alumni games take place tonight (Wednesday), with the senior girls taking on the grads of yesteryear at 6 p.m. The men’s game starts at about 7:45 p.m.
Rebecca Arrowsmith, a 2011 grad, is organizing the night with fellow-alumnus Linden Willock, Jaclyn McNicol and Janelle Brouwer.
Using Facebook as a sign-in device, Arrowsmith said over 10 women had indicated interest in playing or at least attending.
“All the Brouwer sisters are planning on being there,” said Arrowsmith. “Janelle, Tori, Lauren and Rachel. Also Carmen Pernitsky, Reegan Barber, Richelle Willick, Rachel Deschenes, Hannah Jarvis, Shalene Sherman and myself.
“Linden is taking care of the men’s side but I know Rob and Kyle Kjemhus will be there, along with Linden and Wilson Willock and Clayton Steinebach.
Admission is free, but there will be a raffle and 50/50 draws. Monies will go to the athletic department to help out with costs of running the senior basketball teams.