The St Timothy Thunder lost a thriller of a City Championship against the John G. Diefenbaker Chief, Mar. 10, in a game that was only decided in the dying minutes.
The Thunder rolled back from a 28-22 deficit at the half to take a 44-39 lead early in the fourth. In the end, a few minutes of play gave the Chiefs a 55-49 win and the gold medal.
The Thunder has become known as a team who likes to push the pace to stifle their opponents. Unfortunately, it's a very similar style as the Chiefs.
"I thought we made some adjustments at the half and we came out very strong and played a really good third quarter," says Head Coach Leo Keefer. "I thought we had control of the game, but there were two or three minutes that we didn't manage the ball very well and the turnovers ended up costing us. That couple of minutes decided who would be the winner. We didn't hang on to the ball like we did the rest of the game and it ended up in our basket three times in a minute."
The final showed just how much the Thunder has grown as a team. In their second game of the season, they lost to the Chiefs by 32 points.
"We've come a very long way from since early in the season and it's been really cool to see," says Keefer.
"I think we're super happy with the way it turned out. We're never happy with second place but when we looked at where we were at the start of the year, how far we've come and how much we've improved, the girls should be proud with what we did."
Keefer says the team's three grade 12 players have played a huge role in advancing the program.
"We had three grade 12s in their final game and I thought they were outstanding the second half and they really showed that we're a strong program now. They've laid the foundation and we're going to expect good things next year, too."
The Thunder had a decisive 52-36 victory against Lord Beaverbrook, Mar. 8, in the semifinals to earn a berth into the final.
"It was a fast game and that really played into our hands. We like pushing the pace and I thought that was the difference. We were able to play a faster game than they were and it worked out for us."