CJ Pentland, CapU Sport Information Director
For the fourth straight season the Capilano University Blues women’s basketball team will play in the PACWEST Championship final, as CapU built up a 20-point lead in the first quarter and Sherrie Errico was one assist shy of a triple-double in an 84-64 over the Camosun College Chargers in Friday afternoon’s playoff semifinal in New Westminster. CapU will now look to repeat at PACWEST champions on Saturday night at 5:30pm against the winner of the other semifinal between Vancouver Island University and Langara College.
In a rematch of last season’s gold medal match, the Blues stormed out of the gate and built up a 26-6 lead after the first quarter. It was a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish, as despite a push from Camosun in the second half, the Blues maintained their double-digit advantage for the remainder of the contest and tied a program record for points in a playoff game with 84. CapU shot 53.6% in the contest, and held Camosun to a rate of 26.7%.
“It wasn’t easy, that’s for sure,” said head coach Chris Weimer after the game to Ryan Watters of the PACWEST. “We came out of the half and I knew that Camosun was going to have a push. I knew they had those weapons, and if those weapons started firing they could get back in the game real quick. They got to within 12, but we held them off.
“We knew the storm was coming, but we weathered it. And the girls have done that all season – weathering storms and holding on to leads and finishing games. It was a 20-point win but it didn’t feel like it. We had to battle for everything we got.”
Errico had one of the best games of her career and was named Player of the Game for CapU. The fifth-year guard from North Vancouver shot 9-of-12 from the floor and a perfect 11-of-11 from the free throw line en route to a career-high 31 points, and added 10 rebounds and nine assists to narrowly miss the first playoff triple-double in Blues program history.
“Offensively she was unstoppable,” said Weimer about Errico. “We count on our three-point shooting a lot and they took that away from us – we didn’t get a lot of three-point looks – so we tried to pound the ball inside. But Sherrie and her mid-range game: she was hitting shots off the dribble, she was money.”
Second-year forward Mackenzie Smith also had a dominant game in the post, scoring Capilano’s first six points and finishing with 19 points on 9-of-13 shooting to go along with eight rebounds. PACWEST Rookie of the Year Alessia Brutto added eight points, nine rebounds and four steals, and Reiko Ohama had nine points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
This marks the fourth year in a row that CapU has made the women's basketball final. Last season the Blues defeated Camosun to win their fourth gold medal in program history, and the two years prior they won silver. Saturday’s final is at 5:30pm at Douglas College in New Westminster, and all games can be viewed online at pacwestbc.tv.