It’s one of those sports plays that all involved will never forget.
With the score tied 74-74, Chloe Walton of the Argyle Pipers senior girls basketball team took a long two point shot microseconds before the buzzer sounded in the Crehan Cup Lower Mainland Championship final Saturday night against the host Carson Graham Eagles. It went in, swish. Game over. Mob scene.
“I’ve never been part of anything that crazy,” said Argyle head coach Anthony Beyrouti. “That was just pure hysteria.”
The play capped off a thrilling game in which Carson built up a double-digit lead only to see Argyle claw back to make it a photo finish. With 12 seconds left in the game Argyle’s Laura Holt went to the free throw line with the Pipers down by one. She hit the first to tie the score 74-74 but missed the second. Pipers star guard Georgia Swant was the quickest to the rebound, tracking the ball down and then firing it out to a teammate on the wing. The Pipers then passed it around, with Swant eventually getting her hands back on it with the clock ticking down.
“It was just like ‘great rebound, somebody shoot the ball please,’” said Beyrouti with a laugh. Instead of shooting, however, Swant spotted Walton wide open in the corner and hit her with an across-court skip pass.
“Unbelievable pass,” said Beyrouti. “I keep telling her to shoot it and she keeps passing it to people. It’s a good thing she doesn’t listen to me.”
Walton made just two of her 12 shots in the game, but one of them was the biggest of her life. “Chloe had been struggling a bit throughout the game and then comes up huge and wins us the game,” said Beyrouti. “It was massive.”
The final score: 76-74. Swant, bound for Simon Fraser University next year, collected a triple double in the final with 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, while Kayla Escat had the game of her life for the Pipers, hitting five threes on her way to 24 points. Holt had a double double, notching 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Carson Graham was led by the trio of Tanis Metcalfe, Chloe Brebner and Gabby Channon who scored 18, 17, and 16 points, respectively.
Both teams will now move on the AAA provincial championship scheduled for Feb. 28-March 3 at Langley Events Centre. Handsworth finished fifth in the Lower Mainland championships and will play a provincial wild card qualifier Tuesday.
Crehan Cup award winners:
Tournament MVP: Georgia Swant (Argyle)
Tournament All-Stars: Chhloe Walton (Argyle); Laura Holt (Argyle); Tanis Metcalfe (Carson); Chloe Brebner (Carson); Sarah Forgie (New West); Devin Strome (New West); Abby Zawada (McMath); Martha Melaku (McMath); Julia Strigl (Handsworth); Skyler MacDonald (Lord Byng)