Spartan girls off to Hoopla
By Gaven Crites
The Carpenter High School girls basketball team punched their ticket to the upcoming provincial championships in Saskatoon next weekend.
Getting off to somewhat of a slow start in the regional championship game against Swift Current last weekend in Meadow Lake, the Spartans implemented their trusty and effective full-court press after half. Coach Carla Waterman said the third quarter was when they really took control of the game, leading them to an eventual 66-43 win.
“I think our press got us eight points in a minute-and-a-half,” Waterman said. “That was huge for us, probably the biggest turning point. You can sink a ship pretty fast if you can convert turnovers into baskets.”
Grade 12 post Madison Oystrick led the Spartan squad with 21 points.
In earlier competition, Meadow Lake got past Melfort 78-35. In this game Oystrick also sank the most baskets for the home team with 24.
There is some excitement around this season’s team, something Waterman said has been building for a couple of years now since their Grade 10 season.
“We said we should be a contender at Hoopla this year (then), and that’s where we’re at,” she said.
As for strategy going into the 4A provincial championships, Watermen said the team will look at fine-tuning the parts of the game which got them there.
“I try not to focus so much on what the other team does, but what we need to do and how we need to play,” Waterman said. “I know lots of fans will probably follow us to Saskatoon and we appreciate that. It’s huge when you can have stands full of your fans in other gyms.”
The Spartan girls are ranked number two going into Hoopla 2013 and face third-seeded Notre Dame College from Wilcox on Friday, March 22 at 12:45 p.m. at Evan Hardy Collegiate. The other matchup features number-one ranked Moose Jaw Peacock and fourth-ranked North Battleford. The gold-medal game goes Saturday at 3 p.m. at St. Joseph’s High School.
Boys season ends
The CHS boys were ranked 11th going into the regional championships in Warman last weekend and came up short in both games they played.
A 72-48 loss versus Warman High School was a close contest until midway through the game when Warman hit a series of shots to close out the half, coach Jeremy Sundeen explained.
“We went cold in the fourth,” he said. “We had a lot of trouble finishing layups. That was the biggest issue. We had a lot of buckets that would normally go in that didn’t.”
Connor Waterman led the Meadow Lake squad with 17 points in this game.
On Saturday, the Spartans dropped a close consolation game to North Battleford, 59-56. Jan Perello threw up 11 points to lead Meadow Lake offensively.
“We had a shot to tie with 10 seconds left and it rimmed out,” Sundeen said. “It was actually a pretty exciting game. There were lots of threes made and we traded buckets. It was good basketball.”
With four of five starters set to return, the outlook for next season is good if the young team can stay healthy, Sundeen added.
“We showed a lot of growth,” he said. “Would we have liked to do better? Absolutely. But that’s the way it goes when you’re that young – you take your lumps early and hope you get better.”
In other regional basketball play last weekend, Jonas Samson Junior High defeated Prince Albert Rivier 39-37 in 3A competition before falling short to Lumsden 66-33 in the final. In girls 2A, Ile-a-la Crosse lost to Wynyard and then to Outlook in the consolation final.
In boys 3A regionals, La Loche lost to Osler and Onion Lake. In boys 2A, Buffalo Narrows was defeated by Asquith and then Big River, while in 1A boys, Beauval won their first game 55-54 over Hepburn, but then lost out to St. Brieux.