Carpenter High Spartans head to Hoopla

by Phil Ambroziak

The Carpenter High School 4A boys basketball team is one step closer to a provincial championship.

The team claimed victory recently at the Saskatchewan High Schools Athletic Association (SHSAA) regional competition held in Prince Albert, defeating teams from Melfort Comprehensive High School and the host city’s St. Mary High School. The first game took place March 16.

“We beat Melfort by four points, so it was a very close game,” remarked CHS coach Kendra Syrota. “It was a hard-fought battle featuring a great effort from both teams.”

Melfort entered regionals ranked 10th while the Meadow Lake team was ranked seventh. The 66-62 win moved Meadow Lake into the finals against Prince Albert, a team which entered the competition ranked second second in the province.

After another close game, Meadow Lake pulled off the upset winning by a score of 68-63.

“The boys were well-focused from beginning to end,” Syrota continued. “We shut them down defensively in the beginning, which really sparked our offence.”

Meadow Lake took advantage early and held on throughout the first half resulting in a 40-33 lead. In the second half, Prince Albert closed the score to take the lead on a couple of occasions, but Meadow Lake would run the floor for some fast break baskets and pull away again. Kyle Thompson scored a three-pointer to cement CHS’ win.

The CHS boys team has now secured a second place slot heading into Hoopla 2012, the SHSAA’s provincial basketball competition. That event takes place March 22-24 in Regina and will see Meadow Lake square off against North Battleford Comprehensive High School in opening round action.

“In the 4A category, teams are so close and our boys have a really good chance of winning,” Syrota said. “They were truly focused and showed how much they wanted that win. Now they’re excited. They came in as an underdog and have nothing to lose. We’re (coaches) as excited as they are and hope we can come home with the gold medal.”

The CHS 4A girls team was not as successful during regional competition held at Notre Dame in Wilcox, but coach Carla Waterman is still proud of what she described as a memorable season.

During regional play, the girls were defeated in the opening round by Regina Luther 44-42.

“We were winning until the last minute-and-a-half when we had a couple of key turnovers,” Waterman said.

Madison Oystrick had 12 points for Meadow Lake in the loss.

Meadow Lake did find victory in its consolation game against Melville Comprehensive School, winning 50-40.

“It was a good finish to the season,” Waterman added. “Everyone played and everyone played well.”

In boys 3A action, the Jonas Samson Junior High School team lost its opening round bid 91-53 to Birch Hills School. The team did manage to win its consolation game against Unity Composite High School, however, with a score of 71-62. Jonas Samson player Blake Prete proved unstoppable in the second half, helping to lead his team to victory.

“We were a pile of Grade 9s playing against high school teams,” noted coach Jeremy Sundeen. “I was very pleased with the team’s effort. We had a really good season and improved a lot throughout the year.”

The 3A girls team from La Loche Community School also took part in SHSAA regionals, losing its opening round game to Lumsden 77-11, as well as its consolation game against Luseland 56-22.

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