CHS boys advance to Hoopla
by Phil Ambroziak
Carpenter High School’s boys basketball team hosted a Saskatchewan High Schools Athletic Association (SHSAA) regional 4A event this past weekend during which they achieved a 2-0 record and secured a spot at Hoopla, the provincial basketball tournament March 27-28 in Saskatoon.
“The boys are super excited – Carpenter hasn’t had a boys team attend Hoopla since 2012, so this will be a first for everyone on the team,” explained CHS coach Kendra Paramchuk.
CHS was ranked third heading into regionals and will play the team from number two ranked Weyburn Comprehensive School in their next game. The winner will advance to the gold medal match while the losing squad will contend for bronze. This past weekend, Carpenter easily defeated Melville 81-38 Friday evening before meeting up with Bedford Road Collegiate from Saskatoon.
“Because we came into regionals ranked third, we played a lower seeded team first in Melville,” Paramchuk said. “It was a nice experience for our team because everyone got a chance to be on the court, which isn’t always easy because you don’t want to change your pace too much in terms of who usually plays where.”
In the Meadow Lake-Melville match-up, CHS’ top scorer was Damon Martin-Durocher with 26 points.
“On Saturday, we were in the regional final against Bedford Road, which is a team that’s been getting better and better throughout the season,” Paramchuk continued. “They had some fast-paced guards, but we were able to adjust our defence to gain a 10-point lead.”
By half-time, however, the game was tied and it was a back-and-forth affair until Meadow Lake’s Blake Prete scored a three-pointer with only 20 seconds remaining on the clock resulting in a final score of 65-62.
Paramchuk said it was actually good for the boys to experience such a close game.
“They’re likely to have more games like that at provincials,” she said. “But, it was great to see the team work so well together and it was especially nice to have so many fans come out and support us throughout the weekend. That kind of support truly does help the team succeed.”
Prete agreed, noting teamwork is what’s going to help the team achieve its ultimate goal at the end of the day.
“We didn’t play our best basketball this past weekend, but we ended up making it happen and that’s all that matters,” Prete said. “I honestly think we have a chance at (winning) provincials if we play at our very best. I know we can do it.”
Meanwhile, the CHS girls basketball team also competed in 4A regionals on the weekend when they travelled to Warman. However, a 53-49 loss to Moose Jaw Vanier shattered the squad’s dream of making provincials this year.
Also competing in regionals was the girls 2A team from Rossignol High School in Ile-a-la Crosse, which lost its first game to Meath Park 81-39. The 2A girls team from Pinehouse was also in action, losing 73-12 to Wynyard while the 2A boys from Twin Lakes School in Buffalo Narrows fell 60-56 to Duck Lake. Also, the 2A boys from Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation lost 77-41 to Lashburn and the 3A boys from Valley View School in Beauval defeated Shaunavon High School 84-75 before falling to Birch Hills 87-71.