Stelly’s forward Maggi Owen takes the ball up against a pair of Cowichan defenders during the Stingers’ first game at the 3A Island Championships Thursday evening at Claremont Secondary. Owen led her team with 10 points. (Steven Heywood/News Staff)

Stelly’s forward Maggi Owen takes the ball up against a pair of Cowichan defenders during the Stingers’ first game at the 3A Island Championships Thursday evening at Claremont Secondary. Owen led her team with 10 points. (Steven Heywood/News Staff)

Stelly’s girls hoops team battling at the Islands

Stingers drop opener Thursday night, 43-36 to Cowichan

Maggi Owen scored 10 points and was a presence in the paint for the Stelly’s Stingers senior girls basketball team, but it wasn’t enough, as the Central Saanich school dropped their opening game of the Islands, 43-36 to Cowichan.

Stelly’s, seeded third in the south Island, opened the 3A girls Island final Thursday evening and had a strong first half, staying with Cowichan, who they had beaten on two other occaisons during the regular season. The half ended 23-17 in Cowichan’s favour.

The 62nd Island 3A Championship is taking place until Saturday night at Claremont Secondary School.

Stelly’s came out strong in the second half, closing the gap on six points from Owen and strong ball handing from point guard Emma Ottewell. The Stingers battled for the ball and went on an 8-2 run before Cowichan called a time out. By the end of the third Quarter, Stelly’s trailed by three, 33-30.

The gas seemed to drain out of the Stingers in the final quarter of the game. They managed only six points and Owen was kept off the board by a stingy Cowichan defense.

Stelly’s coach Lynn Montgomery said the players had trouble staying in the game but were looking to rebound Friday, Feb. 16 in round two of the Islands. They are set to play at 3:45 p.m. against the losing team between Oak Bay and Spectrum.

Cowichan moves on to play the winner of the Oak Bay-Spectrum match at 5:30 p.m.

The final is set for Sat., Feb. 17 at 6:15 p.m.

The top two teams from the tournament advance to the provincials. The third place team will play a wildcard match against a lower mainland team, for a chance to play into the B.C. championships.