High school basketball hits court for new season

Wm. E Hay senior boy Wildcats opened their basketball season at home last Thursday, Dec. 2 , when they hosted and lost to Wetaskiwin Sabres in a game dominated by the visiting side.

It took almost eight minutes for the local boys to put their first points on the scoreboard while the Sabres kept shooting and shooting well throughout the game which ended 95-17 for Wetaskiwin.

“We have a young basketball team and are looking forward to big improvements throughout the season,” said head coach Joe Thibeau.

“We have three returning players to lead the team.”

Senior boy Wildcats were playing against Lacombe Rockets at home as the Independent went to press on Tuesday evening and the team is later headed to Rocky Mountain House for the first tournament of the season on Dec. 10 and 11.

Senior Wm. E Hay girl Wildcats also played against their counterparts from Wetaskiwin on Thursday, and lost 51-42.

“The girls played well, being it was their first game of the season, the score was tied for pretty much the entire game and then they lost momentum in the final quarter and just weren’t able to hold on and break ahead,” said coach Rachelle Campeau.

Both boys’ and girls’ junior varsity teams took part in pre-season tournaments in Stony Plain last weekend, where the boys fared better and the girls lost their games but gained a lot of experience.

“Despite only having one practice prior to the event, the boys were able to make their way to the consolation final against Spruce Grove,” said warren Aspenes, JV boys’ coach.

“ The game did not start well for the Cats as we found ourselves down 35-15 at half time. However, the boys kept on working hard and slowly clawed their way back into the game to make thingsexciting at the finish.”

Grade 10 guard, Mark Meyer hit a three-point sho with no time left on the clock to push the game to overtime where Wildcats finally succumbed to the opposition losing the game by a score of 62-61.

“The boys showed a tremendous amount of pride in playing that hard as it was their third game of the day and fatigue was definitely a factor,” said Aspenes.

Wildcats lost to Lillian Osborne 70-35 in their first game, and to St. Albert Catholic 71-29 in the second. In the third game they won 52-25 over R.F Staples and lost to Spruce Grove 62-61 in the fourth game. knew

As for the girls, they showed a lot of enthusiasm but their lack of experience was a major factor in their defeats.

“We knew we were in for a huge challenge,” said Charisse McDonald, the girls’ coach.

“With lower numbers trying out for JV, we had to select a very young team with lots of potential but lacking experience at this higher level. There will be a steep learning curve.”

McDonald said her team got better as the tournament progressed but she admitted that “By the end of Saturday our fitness was definetely an issue.”

“Our strengths this year will be our speed and our rebounding. The girls are keen to learn and very coachable,” said MacDonald.

The girls lost 49-25 to Salisbury, 63-33 to Archbishop MacDonald and 40-17 to Lillian Osborne, all Edmonton-area schools.

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