Stacey Lavallie/Independent reporter Carson Neitz manages to leap out of a pack of Father Lacombe players to fire the ball at the net.

Stacey Lavallie/Independent reporter Carson Neitz manages to leap out of a pack of Father Lacombe players to fire the ball at the net.

Erskine nets gold over Stettler in junior basketball tournament

Erskine School's boys' junior basketball team continued its winning ways, emerging from the Stettler Tournament with the gold.

Erskine School’s boys’ junior basketball team continued its winning ways, emerging from the finals at the Stettler Junior Basketball Tournament with the gold.

The Saturday, Jan. 23 tournament, held in the William E. Hay Secondary Campus and the Middle School gymnasiums, saw both boys’ and girls’ teams competing for the gold.

Erskine went undefeated in the tournament, though its first game, against Father Lacombe, was tough, according to coach Rae Munden.

“We really wanted that game as they beat us badly last year at the CWAJHAA,” she said. With less than a minute left in the game, and down a point, a neat two-point shot and then another basket right on the buzzer gave the team the win.

The final game against Stettler was a hard battle, too, though not as tough as the game against Father Lacombe. Host team Stettler beat Gus Wetter and Clive handily to advance to play against Erskine, but lost the game by 16 points.

“We didn’t fare too well in the final,” Kevin Burkard, Stettler coach, said. “At one point (we) trailed by 23. That was our first loss on the year and shows us where we need to hone our skills and work on our game.”

In the girls’ tournament, Stettler beat Gus Wetter and Clive in the round robin to advance to the finals against Rimbey. There, they lost an excruciatingly close 30-28.

“It was a close game throughout,” coach Charisse McDonald said. “We had lots of opportunities to score and took good shots, but just couldn’t quite finish.”

McDonald commended the defensive play of Willow and Baileigh Sorenson, whose “outstanding defensive play against Rimbey’s two best players” made a huge impact on the result of the game.

Halkirk took third place, defeating Clive.