MCHS Wolves emerge from tournament with solid standing

By Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – The MCHS Wolves Sr. Boys and Sr. Girls basketball teams emerged from the weekend’s invitational tournament without championship bragging rights, but both teams played well enough and placed high enough to hold their heads high. The Sr. Boys took second place in the home tournament, the Sr. Girls took third spot.

Sr. girls take third

The Sr. Girls team started the weekend tournament with a 56-31 victory over the Fort Saskatchewan High School Stingers Friday afternoon. The Lady Wolves built their lead through four quarters, starting with a close 15-13 lead at the end of the first quarter and increasing it to 56-31 by the end of the game.

However, the girls were defeated 62-39 Saturday morning by Holy Rosary High from Lloydminster. The girls ended the first quarter trailing 18-11, but steadily allowed the Raiders to build their lead over the remaining three quarters.

“We started a little slow in our confidence,” said Sr. Girls Coach Kent Lessard. “Once we lost our confidence, we didn’t play as well as we normally do.”

The loss to Holy Rosary put the girls up against Memorial Composite from Stony Plain, a third-place contest that took double overtime to decide. In the end, the Sr. Girls took the game 52-48 giving them third place in the tournament.

“We managed to hold off Memorial as we had an eight-point lead going into the fourth quarter,” Lessard said. “Memorial fought hard, but our girls showed a lot of composure down the stretch and we managed to pull it out. So it was an exciting game for the fans and for the players.”

Sr. Boys take second

The Sr. Boys opened the tournament with an 86-19 victory over the Edwin Parr High School Pacers Friday afternoon. The boys built their lead over four quarters, advancing from a 24-4 lead at the end of the first quarter to a 67-point lead by the end of the game.

Friday’s victory was followed by a 62-42 victory over the Bellerose Composite Bulldogs from St. Albert. As they had in Friday’s contest, the Wolves built their lead from the first quarter through to the last. Starting from a narrow 14-13 lead, the Sr. Boys had increased the gap to 36-24 by halftime.

However, Saturday’s championship game against the Leduc Composite Tigers proved a much greater challenge. Although the Wolves finished the first quarter leading the tigers 20-16, the scoreboard reversed at the end of the second quarter with the Tigers leading 29-27. That point-gap continued to widen through the third and fourth quarters which ended 49-45 and 66-58 in Leduc’s favour.

Sr. Boys Coach Cliff Rowein said he felt the weekend tournament was a great learning opportunity for his team. “It’s our home tournament and we’d like to win our home tournament, but it’s not the zone final,” Rowein said. “It’s not our major goal. It’s a really good learning experience for us.”

The coach said missing free throws had an impact on the Wolves’ chances. The Wolves hit nine of 21 free throw opportunities in the championship game.

“We played hard. We had our chances,” the coach said. “We didn’t hit free throws and that’s what it comes down to in a close game like this.”

However, Rowein said he was not disappointed in losing to Leduc in the final.
“They’re no slouch,” he said. “They’re a good team.”

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