The squeak of sneakers, the thud of a dribbled ball, and the cheers of friends and family rung through the halls of Erskine Public School on Wednesday, Jan. 11 as the school hosted the Christ King Catholic School junior high basketball teams.
The boys’ teams took to the court first, with the bright blue of the Stettler boys in contrast to the maroon of the Erskine lads, with Christ King winning 47-46 in a close, rough and nail-biting game.
“The Erskine boys’ team is made up of three Grade 9 boys, three Grade 8, one Grade 7 and six Grade 6 boys,” Sheri Morbeck, the Erskine boys’ basketball coach said. “This is a rebuilding year for Erskine as none of our players have seen much playing time in the past.”
Despite the building status of the team, Erskine was powerful on the court, passing accurately and nimbly evading Christ King blockers. However, lapses in communication repeatedly cost the team, and was highlighted by Morbeck as one of the things the team will be working on throughout the season.
“The goal for this year is two-fold,” Morbeck said. “Skill development and working as a team (are our goals). Erskine has had such strong teams for years now that this is new territory for us with having such new players to the game.”
Boys’ basketball coach at Christ King Catholic School, Megan Lozeau, said that she was proud of her team’s play.
“What our team lacks in height, we make up for with speed and hard work,” she said. “We have a great group of boys that communicate well on the court and support each other.”
She said the team’s endurance and perseverance paid off, as at one point the team was down 11 points.
“They did not give up,” she said. “They continued to support each other, even as we were down a lot of points. The team remained calm with under a minute left after Erskine scored to tie – running a play to draw the foul, which led to a one-point lead.”
The girls’ took to the court after the boys’ team was done, and the day ended with a lopsided victory for Erskine as they won 44-12 over Christ King.
Erskine’s girls’ basketball team this year is half returning players and half rookies, according to Starla Lachowsky, the girls’ basketball coach.
“Our goal in practice is to have our rookies understand the game and come together as a team to perform some plays,” she said. She said that the ultimate hope for the team this year is a successful season – even a top three finish in CARA.
“Everyone played well, including our rookies who are still learning the game,” Lachowsky said.