by Stephen Dafoe
The sounds of basketballs shoes squeaking on hardwood mixed with cheers and laughter Saturday evening as the Morinville Community High School Sr. Girls basketball team squared off against 19 former students for a friendly game on familiar grounds.
MCHS basketball coach Kent Lessard said the tradition has gone on for about 30 years, which means the Morinville high school tradition predates the current school.
“It’s a great way to bring the alumni back and keep them involved in the program, and show the current students this was an important part of their lives. They enjoyed it, and they want to be part of it,” Lessard said.
Of the 19 alumni players who took to the court Saturday, some had graduated as recently as last summer, while one had graduated in 2000.
But the actual game showed that no matter how long they were off the high school basketball court, they still had some skills to show the new players.
The alumni lead through four quarters, building from a 20-12 lead over the Sr. Girls to widen the score to a 12-point margin of 28-16 at the half. During that 10-minute break, the alumni divided into two teams for a short game against each other that ended 9-8. Returning tot he game at hand, the alumni maintained a 12-point gap with a 36-24 third quarter finish before advancing to a 53-37 win.
But there were few frowns on the Sr. Girls side as they shook hands on down the line after the game. The exercise was about connecting with women who competed for MCHS in the past.
“I think the biggest thing is the camaraderie,” Lessard said. They see the girls mixing with their teammates and how it brings them back together. That’s the biggest part. We all like to win in sports, but the reason we do it is to be with our teammates and for it to be a positive experience.”
The Senior Girls host an invitational tournament Feb 2nd and 3rd.
The Senior Boys, who took third in a tournament over the weekend will host an invitational tournament Feb. 16 and 17.