F.P. Walshe Flyers dominated the second half Saturday afternoon to beat Immanuel Christian Eagles 58-48 and win the 2A south zone basketball title.
The Flyers trailed 31-25 at halftime and didn’t get their first lead until late in the third quarter before pulling away to win the school’s first girls’ zone title since 2001.
“Our coaches told us at halftime that we needed to want it more than them,” senior Sydney Plourde said. “They were pushing us around, and we had to push back.”
The Flyers did just that, holding the Eagles to just two points in the first five minutes of the third quarter while scoring nine themselves to go in front 34-33.
The Eagles rallied to regain the lead but the third quarter ended with the Flyers in front 39-38.
Immanuel Christian got the first basket of the fourth quarter, but then the Flyers went on a 15-point run for a commanding 54-40 lead.
“Mostly, I think it was just heart,” Flyers senior Cassie Walmsley said. “We realized how much we wanted it. We fought for every basket.”
Head coach Andrew Walmsley credited his team’s commitment to defence for the victory.
“The really bought into the fact that defence wins championships,” Walmsley said. “Hopefully we can continue that for another week.”
Ruby Kinsella and Sydney Plourde did most of the damage on offence for the Flyers, pouring in 20 points apiece.
Kaitlin Quinlan scored five, Cassie Walmsley and Dakota Kambietz each had four, Naomi Burbank had three and Amanda Hofer had two.
Nicole Postman replied with 16 for the Eagles.
Flyers 49 Vi-Queens 25
The Flyers opened the tournament March 6 with a 49-25 win over Vauxhall Vi-Queens.
The Flyers took a 13-8 lead in the first quarter and widened the margin to 22-13 at the half.
Amanda Hofer scored six points in the third quarter as the Flyers increased their lead to 37-19.
The Flyers added another dozen points in the fourth quarter to close out the 49-25 victory.
Sydney Plourde was the game’s top scorer with 17 points.
Hofer finished with 10 points for the Flyers and Kaitlin Quinlan had six. Ruby Kinsella, Cassie Walmsley and Tenille Poettcker each had four points and Hannah Bullock had two.
Brooke Wiest led the Vi-Queens with 13 points.
Flyers 67 Queens 51
The Flyers overcame a 16-point deficit Friday night to crown Picture Butte Queens 67-51 and advance to the tournament final.
It was a gritty performance for the Flyers who trailed 21-10 after the first quarter but battled to cut the Queens’ lead to 32-27 at halftime.
The Flyers outscored Picture Butte 28-6 in the third quarter to take a commanding 55-38 lead on their way to a 67-51 win.
Cassie Walmsley was the game’s top scorer with 19 points and Ruby Kinsella had 16.
Sydney Plourde scored 12, Kaitlin Quinlan had eight, Dakota Kambietz and Amanda Hofer each had four and Tenille Poettcker and Naomi Burbank had two apiece.
Caylee Vogel scored 14 for Picture Butte, 11 of those coming in the first quarter.