There was no love lost between the Quest Kermodes and the Heat on Friday night. Both teams came out playing aggressive, with the Heat coming out of the first quarter with a slight lead at 19-14. In the second quarter the action got even more intense and aggressive; this is when Heat captain and graduating senior Jenna Kantz started to really light things up. A major turning point in the second quarter was after a patented Kantz steal off the Kermodes. She then converted the layup leading to a string of Heat points. Roz Huber spent a fair bit of time at the free throw line in the second quarter as she hit on 5 of 6; for the game Huber knocked down an incredible 12/14. The Heat increased their lead to 37-28 by half-time.
In the 3rd quarter Quest, fighting for their playoff lives, came out scoring, getting a string of 7 points to pull back within 4 of the Heat. The Heat, however, wouldn't let the Kermodes get any closer than 4 as Ashley Briker started another Heat run. She scored a quick two immediately following one of Kantz’s 4 three balls in the game. A turnover by the Kermodes and a textbook layup by Madison Kaneda put the Heat up 52-40. Quest coach Mike Woolard called a timeout in an attempt to regroup, but the Heat finished the quarter with a 61-52 lead.
Jenna Kantz had another monster game as she finished with a game high 27 points. In the 4th quarter she pushed the Heat’s lead to 14 at 71-57, but then the Kermodes' Maja Smiljic really stepped it up to keep her team in the game and keep the Kermodes’ hopes of reaching the postseason alive. Smiljic was the catalyst the Kermodes needed, hitting two 3s as Quest narrowed down the 14 point lead all the way to 2, making it a 73-71 game with 37 seconds remaining. The Kermodes had to foul to get the ball back but clutch free throw shooting from Melissa Irish and Jenna Kantz halted the Kermodes' comeback as the Heat ultimately took the game 76-71.
"This was a do or die game for them; they had everything to lose," reflected Melissa Irish. "They were very aggressive. Lots of bodies were getting thrown around; we had to stay composed throughout. We won most of the quarters, but they started hitting 3’s. We did a lot better with our team free throws because we had lots of opportunities." Opportunities were in fact numerous, as the Heat shot 76% from the free throw line, hitting on 23 of 30 attempts.
"We've got great support from the bench; they're really supporting us when we need them," added Irish. "These games are not always fun to play but we need them. It shows a lot of character."
Besides scoring 18 points, the Landmark Cinema - Eastside Mario's Player of the Game Roz Huber hauled in 18 rebounds, 8 on the offensive end and 10 on the defensive end. Jenna Kantz contributed 6 assists along with her impressive 27 points.
The Heat play their final game of the regular season at home in a rematch versus the Quest Kermodes on Saturday evening at 4 PM. After the game is the senior celebration night for Jenna Kantz as she plays her final home game for UBC.