Langley victory
Langley's Olivia Augustini handles the ball as South Lakes' Alivia Damper tries to deny any pass to Saxon star Jordyn Callaghan.

Liberty Girls Semis: #1 Langley 44, #4 South Lakes 23

It would be difficult to pick a facet of the game the Langley Saxons excel at most. They don’t overwhelm opponents on many nights, but the balanced and veteran team does everything fairly well. That’s why Langley usually comes away with a win. Still, if you were absolutely forced to pick what makes the Saxons stand out one might very well say defense.

After being held to 23 points on 17% shooting from the field Thursday night in a Liberty Tourney semi-final game, the South Lakes Seahawks might agree.

Langley’s defense was top-notch, man-to-man with a little zone mixed in. It was efficient from the onset as Langley held South Lakes to two first quarter points en route to an early double-digit lead and an eventual 44-23 victory. The Seahawks only managed one assist the entire night, playing into the top-seeded Saxons’ hands with too much one-on-one and forcing up wild shots.

Langley's Ellie Buckley calls for the ball from Jordyn Callaghan in the first half.
Langley’s Ellie Buckley calls for the ball from Jordyn Callaghan in the first half.

Even when the host Seahawks, a pretty good defensive team in their own own right, returned the favor and held the Saxons to two third quarter points, South Lakes could only manage six points in that frame. That wasn’t enough to significantly reduce the 16-point lead Langley had by halftime. Christy Winters-Scott’s team simply missed too many shots to score the upset.

And when they missed shots, Langley senior Elizabeth Bucy was there. Smaller than your typical power forward and standing only around 5’9″, Bucy was absolutely dominant on the boards. She had nine rebounds at halftime and finished with 16–one of the better rebounding performances we’ve seen all year from either boys or girls.

“I think that my height is an advantage because people don’t assume I’m going to get the ball,” Bucy said after the game. “I’m fast and I get good position, and I think that’s my greatest strength, actually, that people underestimate me because of my [lack of] height.”

The Saxons' Emily Shively takes a jump shot as the Langley bench looks on.
The Saxons’ Emily Shively takes a jump shot as the Langley bench looks on.

As is the case on most nights the Saxons got good contributions across the board. The Seahawks worked hard to limit talented Saxons junior guard Jordyn Callaghan, but she still finished with 12 points to lead all scorers. She helped build the margin of victory late by controlling the ball and hitting free throws. Senior guard Rachel Dunie added nine points and was especially efficient early.

But it was the defense that stood out. From everybody.

“We won a district championship last year and we definitely want to repeat,” Bucy said when asked about her team’s goals. “Our goal throughout the season was to keep other teams out of the paint. We’re doing that, and if we limit our turnovers, make our free throws and rebound, that’s the way we’ll win.”

–Chris Jollay

all stats are unofficial

BENVENUTI 1-4 0-0 2 1 0
DAMPER 2-13 3-4 7 3 0
YOUNG 0-4 1-2 1 1 0
BARR 0-3 1-2 1 7 0
NEWMAN-FARR 0-9 0-0 0 1 0
Williams 0-2 0-0 0 6 0
Holland 2-5 2-2 6 2 0
Spears 0-2 0-0 0 1 1
Richards 2-3 0-0 4 0 0
Cotton 1-2 0-0 2 2 0
Czarny 0-0 0-0 0 1 0
TOTALS 8-47 7-10 23 25 1
Threes: Benvenuti 0-3, Damper 0-2, Newman-Farr 0-2
CALLAGHAN 3-8 6-10 12 5 3
DUNIE 3-5 2-4 9 3 0
AUGUSTINI 1-2 1-6 3 2 3
BUCY 3-6 0-0 6 16 1
BUCKLEY 3-9 0-0 6 3 0
Shively 0-3 0-0 0 1 1
Van Houten 2-2 0-0 4 0 0
Azad 0-0 2-2 2 0 0
Mufti 1-1 0-0 2 0 0
TOTALS 16-36 11-22 44 30 8
Threes: Dunie 1-2, Shively 0-2, Callaghan 0-3, Buckley 0-3