Everyone roots for an underdog.
That was the role the Seawolves played and acted with perfection in today’s first quarter-final game in the 2014-15 ACAA Basketball Championships at UNB Saint John.
The first quarter did not kick-off – it exploded into action. The Mystics and Seawolves duked it out back and forth with intensity usually only seen in teams trailing in the final minutes of a game.
That said, the Seawolves still trailed 18-16 heading into the second quarter, but that was irrelevant.
The opening minutes saw the Seawolves take the lead 20-18, mystifying the Mystics from the scoreboard in the first four and half minutes of the quarter, prompting them to call a timeout.
A timeout was all the Mystics needed to tie the game, but that did not stop the stunning Seawolves in their tracks.
Not for long, at least.
Too much space on the three-point line, forced passes and turnovers halted the Seawolves tidal attack. Three minutes after the Mystics took their timeout they were once again leading 32-24.
Near the end of the quarter, a three-point basket by Emily Dowling and good positioning allowed the Seawolves to sneak back into the game.
With half a minute left, Seawolves’ Allyson McLaughlin, who was huge on block and rebound in the first half, snatched another two points for the Seawolves to make it 33-29.
But miscommunication stifled a last second defensive effort by the Seawolves, allowing the Mystics to have a time-filled, open three-point shot that left the half-time score at 35-29.
The third quarter trailed on as the second ended, and the Seawolves continued to push. At one point near the end of the third, the Seawolves only trailed by four points, but that lead soon grew wider to 53-44 Mystics.
Yet the Seawolves continued to be on fire or just not in the third quarter, allowing the point difference between the two teams to become a permanent gap.
The Seawolves finally fused out at the end of the third quarter with the Mystics ahead by fourteen points, 62-48.
While the gap between the two teams was evident in the fourth quarter, the Seawolves did not cave in, as they still put up some points.
In their championships debut, rookies Megan Baisley and Sara Simkins played with tenacity, getting much of the fourth quarter to play and try to push the Mystics off of the lead. This experience will surely aid in seasoning the development of their game.
While the game ended 77-58 for the Mystics who advance to tomorrow’s semi-finals, this championship game was the last game in Seawolves uniform for Leanne Davis, Christie Van Steeg, and Rachel Jefferson, who graduate this year.
For the Mystics, Emma Reardon took home player of the game honours. Reardon sniped 5 three-point shots and combined with a game high 19 points.
Emily Dowling of the Seawolves won player of the game honours for her side after registering 17 points and 2 steals in a game where she fiercely continued to drive towards the basket.
The men’s Seawolves basketball team takes to the court at UNB Saint John in semi-final action at 5:00pm today against the third seeded Crandall University Chargers. This game can be watched online live for free at www.acaatv.ca