Dixon treys, Homer’s drives enough to carry Handsworth past Argyle
Saturday, December 8, 2012 – Submitted by Howard Tsumura, The Province
Argyle’s Claire Elliott (left) hounds Handsworth’s Abby Dixon during Telus Basketball Classic final at UBC. (Les Bazso, PNG)
VANCOUVER — It was yet another opportunity for the North Shore neighbourhood battle to continue.
In the end, it was the three-point shooting of point guard Abby Dixon that made the difference, Dixon draining back-to-back triples over the late stages of the contest to lift her Handsworth Royals to a 53-46 win over the Argyle Pipers in an all-North Vancouver clash.
“Abby’s legs were dead tired but then she stepped up and hit those big shots,” said elated Handsworth head coach Scott Palmer after his starting point finished with a flourish and 13 points. “It was so special what they did tonight. I had to take a deep breath because I knew there were going to be ebbs and flows. But we really sucked it up over the last few minutes.”
They had to, because the ninth-ranked Pipers, fresh off a win over Langley’s No. 2 Brookswood Bobcats in the Friday semifinals, were playing with a kind of unflappability which suggested they would be the team to make the last surge and win the Telus title.
In a contest in which Handsworth’s back court of Dixon and scoring machine Elisa Homer (game-high 25 points) continued to earn all of their kudos for exquisite play, Argyle guard Claire Elliott looked every bit their equal and more on occasion, her impact on the game not accurately gauged by her 13 points, but rather the ways in which she affected it at both ends from start to finish.
“We had to keep switching up our ball handlers,” Palmer said of Elliott’s on-the-ball defence. “She really worked hard for three games. She is just a stud player.”
Elliott keyed the break and kept the defence on its heels with her driving and shooting abilities. In fact she scored seven points and dished a pair of assists in her team’s 13-1 run between the first and second halves, a run which pulled her team ahead 30-24.
However one good run was answered by another, this time Handsworth’s Homer taking over the proceedings with nine points in the final four minutes of the third quarter.
The off-guard knocked down all four of her free throw attempts, hit a triple and pulled up in transition to swish a short jumper. By the time she was done, Handsworth had climbed ahead 39-36.
Argyle’s Chelsea Dekleer was able to score off a strip-and-steal by Elliott to put the Pipers on top 46-43 before Dixon stepped up to knock down her game-defining shots.
“I felt like we needed those threes in that moment,” said Dixon. “We knew we had to make shots tonight under pressure. We knew we could do it. We just had to stay in focus, and then play defence.”
The two teams will likely meet five-to-six more times this season, from play in the Howe Sound league, to various invitationals, to the Lower Mainland championships, to BC championships.