Above: The MCHS Wolves earned a 57-31 win over Westlock Friday to start their run to a bronze win Saturday night. – Stephen Dafoe Photos
by Stephen Dafoe
The Morinville Community High School Wolves Sr. Girls basketball team ended the weekend with a bronze finish in their invitational tournament. The two-day tournament drew eight teams, including MCHS.
The girls started the weekend with a 57-31 win over R.F. Staples from Westlock.
Coach Kent Lessard said he was impressed in how the team played in that opening game.
“Our grade 10s played an awesome game as Mary Jaffray, Sydney Rousseau, Hayley Deveau, Caidyn Falkowski and Leanne VanBrabant flexed their muscles at the end of the game to help the Lady Wolves stretch out their lead,” Lessard said. “It was a great game to build the confidence of the younger players as they continue to gain valuable experience as first-year players on the team.”
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Friday’s win put the girls on the court Saturday morning against the Beaumont Bandits.
In that contest, the girls trailed 19-10 after one and continued to trail to 37-29 at the half. By the end of the third quarter, the Wolves narrowed the gap marginally to 55-45 in Beaumont’s favour.
But the Wolves poured it on in the final 10 minutes. Three and a half minutes into the final quarter, the girls pulled the score to within four points of Beaumont, and with 4:17 left on the clock, the Wolves had tied the game 62-62.
Despite a solid fourth-quarter comeback, the girls fell to Beaumont 68-63, putting them into the bronze-medal game Saturday afternoon.
“It was a tough game,” Lessard said after the game. “We have to learn to play for the whole game. We came out a bit tentative and fell behind early. Then you are behind the eight ball fighting your way back the whole game.”
Lessard went on to say the team did a great job doing so in the fourth quarter.
“It’s hard to battle back the whole game and come out on top,” he said. “When we came back and tied the game, that was awesome. But they hit some key shots down the stretch, and their free throw shooting was awesome.
“Overall it was a good game for us. You need these kind of games to prepare for the rest of the season.
Saturday afternoon’s bronze-medal game was another close match for the girls. The Wolves faced the Cold Lake Royals.
In that game, the Wolves lead through four quarters.
The girls built from a narrow 13-10 first quarter to a narrower 25-23 margin at the half. Returning to the other side of the court, the Wolves maintained a two-point lead at 40-38 to end the third and capped it with an eight-point win at 57-49.
Reflecting on the game, Lessard said the girls fought hard.
“Cold Lake are talented players,” Lessard said. “It was back and forth all game long, and our girls never gave up. They really worked hard. It was good because we had contributions from everybody. We’re proud of that, and we’re going to keep working and practicing and keep trying to get better.
The MCHS Sr. Boys also played a tournament over the weekend. Details were not available as of the publication of this story.