Women's Basketball Varsity: every second counts

Photography by Marianne Martin

The UKC Women’s Basketball Varsity match, on 17 February, was perhaps the most thrilling match of Varsity 2019. The game was neck and neck over the four quarters, making it to 52 to 52 in the last 10 seconds—leaving only .2 seconds, at the very end, for UKC to score.

After UKC Men’s Basketball received a two-game ban, which included their Varsity match, Women’s Basketball was the talk of the town. There was a good turnout on both sides at the event, which was held at CCCU’s sports facilities.

UKC was in the lead in the first two quarters, ending quarter two with 25 points to CCCU’s 24. The crowd was starting to get rowdier, as the match became closer and closer. The tension was broken during half-time, however, a six-year-old kid came out onto the court and began shooting shots. The entire audience came together cheering for the young boy. As the players returned to their sides, however, the tension returned as well.

The third quarter started strong, with UKC up 29-24. Over the course of the 3rd quarter, however, CCCU’s player, Mendes, single handedly kept CCCU in the game, pulling the score up to 38-38 by the end of the quarter. Everyone was on the edge of their seat.

UKC’s team was strong, however, with Louisa Moore, the captain, running the team well in the face of a larger CCCU team. Both crowds chanted back and forth, getting progressively more heated as the game continued.

In the first half of the 4th quarter CCCU pulled ahead 48-40. In the second half, however, UKC started gaining on CCCU. In the last five minutes, UKC brought the score up to 52-48, with CCCU still in the lead, then 52-49, gaining one more point from a free throw—the UKC crowd was off their chairs, screaming and chanting.

In the last minute, UKC brought it up to 52-52—it was hard to hear over the immense cheering that filled the large hall, as fists pumped in the air and chants of “UKC”, “UKC” filled the auditorium. The ball went back and forth on the court, and with 10 seconds left, a referee called a foul on UKC. CCCU got two free throws, they made one, putting the score at 53-52 to CCCU. The crowd started to edge in along the sides of the court, cheering vigorously. Over those last ten seconds, after the free throws, both teams went back and forth on the court. At second 7, however, the referee called a fowl, and UKC got possession of the ball right under CCCU’s basket.

Both teams were bunched together, trying to block each other out. At second 5, the clock was stopped again, another foul was called against CCCU, and UKC again received possession of the ball. At second 3, the referee blew his whistle, UKC again received possession of the ball. The game was squashed in the corner of CCCU’s side, as UKC struggled to get the ball out of the cluster of players.

With .2 seconds remaining in the game, a fourth foul was called on CCCU. UKC had only a fraction of a second to sink the ball. It was passed in to Louisa, the captain, who went for a layup. The defense blocked her out, and the buzzer rang. UKC played impressively well against CCCU, even though CCCU had a larger team, and could rotate fresh players into the game more than UKC could.

The UKC Women’s Basketball Varsity match should go down as one of the most thrilling and close matches of Varsity 2019—both teams played well, and the crowd was more involved than most other Varsity events.