It took just one shot for Sacred Heart Lady Saints star Corin Heim to send the rival YRHS Lady Raiders tumbling like an avalanche down the Swiss Alps.
With the game tied at 33 and just 36.7 seconds remaining, Heim, a native of Chur, Switzerland, nailed a shot while being fouled to give her team a 35-33 lead in the tournament final; a lead, thanks to the additional made foul shot, that the Saints did not relinquish en route to the 37-33 victory.
“She had ice in her veins,” said Lady Saints head coach Chris Hansen of Heim. “She responded to the challenge perfectly.”
The challenge that Hansen mentioned was the fact that Heim had struggled to score earlier in the game thanks, in large part, to the dogged determination of the Raiders defensive pressure. “Earlier in the game she missed some shots that she wouldn’t normally miss because of pressure and I think she was beating herself up a little bit over it,” said her coach. “It’s good to see that she shook that off and showed some good character and really focused nicely, especially late in the game.”
Shook it off she did. The Swiss sensation showed just how clutch she was by not letting the nerves get to her to allow her to make the shot that ultimately won her team the game. “I was a little bit nervous. I thought we were going to lose to be honest, but I think that in basketball anything can happen,” said a jubilant Heim following her teams’ 37-33 tournament final victory on Saturday evening. “I try not to think about anything when I am playing. I just wanted to do my best and not give up.”
Heim also mentioned that their tournament final opponents played well, something her coach also acknowledged. “They (YRHS Raiders) played hard, they played aggressively and they never gave up,” said Hansen. “I thought it was a well-played game on both sides. I always enjoy playing them but it’s always nice to beat them. I’m definitely happy about the result.”
YRHS Lady Raiders head coach Jessica Schmidt, on the other hand, was less happy about the result. “It was a real tough loss,” mentioned Schmidt. “The girls played so well and I’m so proud of them and I don’t think I could of asked more or expected more from them throughout this entire tournament, let alone this game, but it’s still tough.”
However, despite the loss, Schmidt says she has seen quite a few positive things from her girls throughout the tournament. “We had some of our grade 10’s really step up. We had our grade 12 captain get injured early in the tournament and the grade 10’s really stepped up and showed us what they’ve got. They played hard and did exactly what was asked of them.”
“We came up short but I think that we learnt a lot and that it was a good experience and we’re a better team overall because of it.”
Schmidt was also impressed with the play of young offensive dynamo Hunter Frankfurt, a grade 10 girl on the senior basketball team. “Hunter, since November, has really stepped up and became not only a key part of our team but almost the heart of it. She comes out for every game with so much heart and so much energy that it’s hard to even take her off the court because she just brings so much to the game.”
“I can’t see where she is at two years from now as a grade 12.”
Round robin play
Sacred Heart finished with a 4-0 round robin record by defeating the YRHS Raiders 50-36 in front of a raucous home crowd at the Halo Dome to open the tournament. They then destroyed Wadena 67-27 before beating Fort Qu’Appelle 38-14 and Moosomin 41-35.
The Regional, meanwhile, riffled off three straight wins after their initial defeat to Sacred Heart by beating Fort Qu’Appelle 50-12 on Friday and Moosomin and Wadena, on Saturday by scores of 24-16 and 54-20.
Moosomin finished in third with a 2-2 record thanks to a pair of victories over Fort Qu’Appelle (57-34) and Wadena (42-34) while Wadena was fourth with a 1-3 record; their lone win coming by way of a 45-31 victory of Fort Qu’Appelle. Fort Qu’Appelle finished in the fifth and last place with a 0-4 record.