CHS wins home tourney

Linzee Brookes guards a John Paul II player during Friday (March 1) action in  Meadow Lake.

Linzee Brookes guards a John Paul II player during Friday night (March 1) action in Meadow Lake.

By Gaven Crites

It was the Spartans shining brightest at the Northern Lights Classic basketball tournament last weekend.
The Carpenter High School senior girls team won the championship game on their home floor Saturday night (March 2), defeating Warman High School 52-38. To get there, Meadow Lake defeated North Battleford’s John Paul II and Prince Albert Carlton in earlier play.
For the Grade 12 players on the team, it was a sweet way to cap off their last high school basketball tournament in Meadow Lake. The win meant a lot to Linzee Brookes, who missed all of her Grade 11 season because of a knee injury.
“I worked out all summer and got back into shape,” said Brookes, who wears a brace on her left knee. “Being back for my last year of high school basketball is great. I definitely didn’t want to miss this year because this is our year.”
In Saturday’s final, the Spartans jumped out to an early lead, outscoring Warman 14-3 in the first quarter. Warman struggled against Carpenter’s full-court press and general intensity on the defensive end. Spartans coach Carla Waterman said using their speed and setting the tone early on was part of the game plan.
“The girls like the press and when that’s working, we’re tough to beat,” Waterman said. “If you look at my starting five, we’re fast at every one of those positions. Warman has the size in the posts, but they don’t have the speed. It’s a trade off. Tonight, the speed beat the size.”
Warman cut the lead at some points throughout the game, but a Spartans victory was never really in doubt.
“We let them come back and get a little closer, but we were feeling pretty confident actually,” Waterman said. “We were playing at home and we knew it was a big game. We’re going to see Warman next weekend at conferences and who knows how it’s going to go then. I think in terms of the mental edge right now, we’ve got it.”
The Spartans travel to Bedford Road Collegiate in Saskatoon next weekend for the district playoffs. Brookes said although this win may have come easier than expected, they shouldn’t get too complacent.
“Just because we won doesn’t mean we should think we’re going to win again next weekend,” she said. “You never know who comes out to play. Whoever does, they’re going to win that game.”
Waterman is happy with how her team has progressed this season.
“We’ve improved a lot over the last six weeks,” she said. “The girls know what we have to do and the style of game we want to play and that’s been coming along every weekend. I’m happy with where we’re at. It’s a good place to be going into the playoffs.”

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