BY: SARAH-ANN WIJNGAARDEN
No way was Owen MacDonald letting his team lose.
The Cariboo-North East player is the team’s “energizer bunny,” according to coach Aaron Brouwer. “He gets us going emotionally and he gets us fired up,” said Brouwer. MacDonald, who also has a great set of cheering lungs, was definitely key in Cariboo-North East’s 48-41 win over opposing team Vancouver-Coastal.
But man, was it close. Ridiculously close.
The first quarter ended 9-9, and players from both teams were running hard. By the second quarter, the clock had already malfunctioned twice, but after a quick mid-game practice, the boys were at it again. No one was slowing down.
Vancouver-Coastal managed to gain a 25-22 lead by halftime, and by the end of the third quarter, they maintained their lead at 39-35. The gridlock continued into the fourth quarter, with fouls and squeaky shoes increasing by the second. With 2:09 left on the clock, both teams were tied at 41.
Until, that is, Cariboo-North East made two successful free throws and player Caleb Lyons scored on a fast break. That was “the turning point,” said Brouwer, that gave them “a little bit of that cushion” to claim their win.
“It was an overall team effort of just wanting it,” said Brouwer. Results were not yet available for the final four games. However, the winner of the Thompson-Okanagan vs. Vancouver Island-Central Coast game tonight (Saturday) will play the winner of the Vancouver Coastal vs. Vancouver-Coastal A game tonight (Saturday) for the gold medal tomorrow at 9:45am.