Stettler’s junior varsity girls’ basketball team has good news to begin its season, after placing third in a tournament in Olds over the weekend.
The team from William E. Hay Composite High School began the weekend with a 33-22 win over Cremona High School, followed by a tight game against the host, Olds High School, in which they lost 56-40.
They then recovered with a 45-13 win over Athabasca’s Edwin Parr High School, finishing in third place on Saturday, Dec. 6.
Head coach Kim Poapst said the tournament provided a good bonding experience for the team, adding that their strengths are more balanced across all players than in previous years.
“They’ve really improved as far as understanding the game,” she said. “It’s going to be an exciting season.”
Poapst also said the team is having fun and will continue to work on improving its defensive strategy.
The JV girls had their league home opener on Dec. 3, hosting the Wetaskiwin Sabres, and despite a strong opening effort they lost 65-33. Kayla Myshaniuk was the top scorer with 16 points, followed by Sydney Poapst.
The junior varsity boys hosted Wetaskiwin on Dec. 3, losing 61-36, but coach Michael Kocher said he was pleased with the effort for their first season game.
“We’re going to be working on defense lots,” said coach Steven Shillito, adding that the team also struggled with multiple fouls throughout.
Alex LeBlanc was top scorer for the Wildcats with 13 points.
The senior girls hosted the Sabres on Dec. 2, losing 88-36, but coach Charisse McDonald said she senses “a lot of positive energy from these kids.”
She added that the team was at a slight disadvantage with only three Grade 12 students on the roster, compared to eight last year.
“It was a very rough game, in terms of lacking any kind of finesse, that type of thing,” said McDonald. “Now we know where we have to go to get better.”
Dacia Gramlick was the top scorer with 10 points, followed by Morgan Van Dusen with six points.
The senior boys hosted Wetaskiwin on Dec. 2, losing 80-12 to what coach Warren Aspenes called a “veteran team.”
He observed that the Sabres had recently competed in a tournament in High River, coming second to Chestermere, and noted that they’re one of the more skilled teams in the league.
“I was happy that our boys worked hard and didn’t quit,” said Aspenes. “We know kind of what the yardstick is . . . They know what they have to do to get better.”
He also noted that the team’s shooting percentage was low, and that an attempt to mount a zone defense in the second quarter, rather than a man-to-man defense, didn’t work.
Kyle Poapst was top scorer with four points.
The senior teams were scheduled to host Rocky Mountain House on Tuesday, Dec. 9, while the junior varsity teams will host Sylvan Lake on Wednesday, Dec. 10.
The junior varsity boys and girls are also hosting a home tournament at William E. Hay on Dec. 12 and 13.