It was all about redemption for University of Winnipeg College Wesmen forward Shawna Solarchuk.
The first-year forward missed a last second three pointer that would have given her high school club from Oak Park a provincial title last year.
But back in a championship game for the second straight year, Solarchuk rose to the occasion and then some, as she put in a game-high 20 points, including 6 points in the final 13 seconds of overtime, as the Wesmen captured the 2011 MCAC title with a 57-55 victory in extra time over the Red River College Rebels.
Trailing by four with 14 seconds to play, it looked like the Wesmen were done, but Solarchuk nailed a three pointer and was fouled at the same time, giving her a chance for the very-rare four point play to tie the game.
“I just heard someone say Shawna we need a three,” said Solarchuk. “I looked down at the ground, made sure my foot wasn’t over the line and took it.”
“I was excited but had to stay calm and make the free throws.”
And not only did she drain that free throw to tie the game, but after two missed free throws from Rebels Kaytlin Waddell, Solarchuk got the ball back, charged up the court and was fouled with two seconds left. She calmly dropped both free throws and sealed the Wesmen victory.
Not only did the Wesmen battle back from that late overtime deficit, but they trailed by five late in the fourth quarter and stormed back with Tournament MVP Julia Anning banking one in for three to tie the game with 15 seconds to play
“We said during the timeouts, we have to put the last five months in the last couple of possessions and that’s what they did,” said Wesmen coach Suki Chhoeun. “They decision-made, the kids made great shots, and you can’t ask for more as a coach.”
The Rebels, meanwhile, had a rough start scoring only 15 points in the first half, but came out firing in the second half scoring 33 points to force overtime. In the end, the mistakes caught up to the Rebels.
“We have a lot of young players, and it was a lot of young mistakes, like fouling on a shot,” said Rebels head coach Heather Hildebrandt, referring to the four point play. “We were up by a couple of points, we were comfortable and just had to be smart, but we were just too excited, and over compensating for things.”
By Kevin Hirschfield
More Final 4 Details here… http://bit.ly/BBallFinal4s