The ADSS Armada girls and Windsor Secondary played a barnburner of a basketball game Friday night—one that filled the new high school gymnasium with as much Totem spirit as days of old.
The teams were playing in Totem 64, the 64th annual basketball tournament hosted by ADSS. It is the longest-running high school basketball tournament in B.C. When the games were held in the old ADSS school on Burde Street in Port Alberni, hundreds of raucous fans would pack the bleachers and the din was deafening.
“That’s probably one of the most exciting senior girls’ basketball games that have ever happened in all the coaching experience of me and Ryan (Broekhuizen, the girls’ head coach,” said Dennis Bill, the Armada’s assistant coach. “We’ve never, ever seen something like that and we’ve got quite a bit of experience.”
The Armada were trailing 44–42 late in the fourth quarter when point guard Memphis Dick was fouled. She sunk one of two shots to bring the Armada within one point. Sixteen seconds later, with just nine seconds left on the clock, Dick was fouled again and sunk another shot to tie the game 44–44 and send it into the first overtime.
It took a second overtime before Windsor edged the Armada 57–54.
The game was potentially a record-maker for Totem: tournament director Mike Roberts said he can’t recall another Totem tourney when any game went into double overtime. Bill agreed.
“I can’t think of another time when we’ve gone double overtime. We’ve definitely gone into overtime, but not double overtime,” Bill said.
The Armada ran into foul trouble late in the game when star offensive player and team captain Abby Broekhuizen fouled out with 3:34 left in the first overtime. Dick stepped up her game until there was 1:57 left, when she too fouled out with the Armada leading 51–47—leaving two of ADSS’s strongest players on the bench.
Windsor took the lead with 1:02 left, going up 52–51. Chantelle Tate sunk a foul shot for ADSS to knot the score 52–52 then sunk her second foul shot to put ADSS ahead 53–52 with 53 seconds left, and the crowd collectively on the edge of their seats. Windsor tied the game 53–53 with 6.5 seconds left in the first overtime.
The second overtime was fraught with fouls by both teams. When the dust settled five minutes later, Windsor squeaked by with the win, 57–54.
Catherine Joe Thompson and some of the Armada’s newer players stepped up to keep ADSS in the game in overtime, Bill said. “They really stepped up. We had some impressive players,” Bill said. Thompson “stepped up to really lead that second line and hold us into that game.
“The second line really stood up and held their own against a really formidable team.”
It seemed fitting that once the historic game concluded—nearly an hour late—the ADSS Athletic Department posthumously honoured the man responsible for bringing Totem to the high school 64 years ago, Elmer Matthews.
The win sends Windsor to the girls’ final on Saturday, Jan. 12, 4 p.m. at the Alberni Athletic Hall. The Armada will play for either third or fifth place on Saturday at 5:45 p.m. in the ADSS gym. They will play the loser of Saturday’s 10:45 a.m. game between Vic High and Ballenas.
The Armada boys played Reynolds in the late game on Friday, which didn’t start until after 8:30 p.m. Reynolds won 92–62 to advance to the boys’ final at 4 p.m. at ADSS. Alberni will play for third or fifth place in the feature game Saturday at 7:30 p.m.