The perfect season stayed intact for the Semiahmoo Totems senior girls basketball team.
But oh boy, was it close.
The No. 1-ranked Totems started uncharacteristically slow against the No. 2 Walnut Grove Gators of Langley, but dug themselves out of an early hole and hit enough shots in the second half to win the triple-A senior girls basketball provincial championship 72-61 Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre.
With the win, Semiahmoo finishes the season a perfect 40-0.
In the first half, however, they looked anything like a team that was set to stay undefeated, as Walnut Grove’s suffocating defence – combined with a handful of misses shots from the Totems – kept the South Surrey team in single digits after the first quarter, trailing the hometown Gators 26-9.
“When I looked up and saw nine points on the board, I thought, ‘My goodness, I hope we get to double digits,” said Totems coach Allison McNeill.
“We just really battled and showed a lot of character… there was no quit in them.”
Faith Dut – Semiahmoo’s lone Grade 12 starter – led the offence with 23 points and 13 rebounds despite playing sparingly in the first half as a result of being in foul trouble. Izzy Forsyth had 17 points, Tara Wallack had 13 and Deja Lee had 19, included a pair of big three-pointers late in the first half to cut into Walnut Grove’s lead.
Walnut Grove was led by Jessica Wisotzki, who had 28 points and 13 rebounds, while Tavia Rowell had 19 points and nine boards.