CHS boys finish second

CHS basketball player Kamren Leschuk looks to make a pass while opposing members of the P.A. Carlton team close in during the final game of the CHS home tournament Jan. 17.

CHS basketball player Kamren Leschuk looks to make a pass while opposing members of the P.A. Carlton team close in during the final game of the CHS home tournament Jan. 17.

by Phil Ambroziak

It was an effort to be proud of.

That’s how Carpenter High School boys basketball coach Jesse Shakotko feels about his team’s performance at the home tournament held in Meadow Lake Jan. 16 and 17 that netted the team the runner-up place.

“I’m very pleased with how things turned out in the end,” Shakotko stated. “I liked how, throughout the tournament, we had a strong focus on defence. When that works, the offence will feed off that defence, and it was working for us until we had a little bit of a lapse in the final game.”

CHS fell 52-40 in the championship game to Carlton Comprehensive High School from Prince Albert.

“P.A. Carlton is classified as a 5A team while we’re in the 4A category, but we’re always very close to them in points whenever we play them,” Shakotko added. “We played them once before this season and we beat them, but they’ve improved a lot throughout the year.”

Carlton maintained a close but steady lead throughout the first half before, as Shakotko said, Meadow Lake cooled off in terms of its shooting.

“By the fourth quarter, we were shut down,” he said. “We made an attempt, but just couldn’t come back.”

Earlier on, Carlton defeated John Paul II Collegiate from North Battleford and Warman High School while CHS downed Beauval and North Battleford Comprehensive High School to earn their respective spots in the final.

“Our opening game against Beauval was great,” Shakotko said. “We played them last year and they had a lot of the same players, so I knew it was going to be a good, tight game.”

Shakotko went on to say his team worked well together with the entire bench receiving some court time. In the end, CHS was victorious 60-48.

“In the semi-final round, we played North Battleford Comprehensive, a team we hadn’t seen yet this year,” he added. “They weren’t as big as us, but they had some decent guards. We ended up winning 67-58.”

Shakotko noted Blake Prete and Damon Martin-Durocher were top scorers throughout the weekend while Travis Greyeyes was given credit for his performance on defence.

“I think Saturday’s final was Travis’ best game so far this year,” Shakotko said. “I love seeing guys work that hard on defence.”

While disappointed not to have won gold, Greyeyes also expressed his satisfaction with how the tournament played out.

“Overall I think we did pretty good,” he said. “I don’t think we did our best in the final because usually we can beat P.A. Carlton. Once they got up by 10 in the third quarter, we couldn’t really come back.”

Meanwhile, with the return of Beauval this year, as well as a first-time appearance by a team from Twin Lakes School in Buffalo Narrows, Shakotko said all teams have a chance to benefit from something new.

“In Buffalo Narrows, there’s a couple of guys up there who are doing a lot of good stuff for basketball,” he noted. “I wanted to give them a chance to take part. It’s good for those kids to come here and see some other teams and to have a chance to play at a higher level. It also allows a lot of the other visiting teams a chance to see the North has talent too.”

Girls in action
While the CHS boys were entertaining hometown fans, the girls squad was in Moose Jaw where they placed 13th in a 16-team tournament.

The team’s first game saw them lose 66-44 to Middle Lake. This was followed by a second loss, this time by a score of 49-31 to Weyburn. Meadow Lake’s first win of the weekend came at the expense of Lake Lenore 44-29 while a 40-28 win against Melfort secured the 13th-place finish.

“We have some homework to do,” noted girls coach Carla Waterman. “Hopefully we see some improvement and can start getting some more wins.”

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