Stettler’s junior varsity girls basketball team remained upbeat after a narrow loss to Red Deer’s Hunting Hills High School on Wednesday, Jan. 7.
The Wildcats lost 60-49 to the Hunting Hills Lightning in a home game at William E. Hay Composite High School.
The match was closely fought, leaving coach Kim Poapst pleased with her team’s performance.
“They rose to the occasion, they did really well,” said Poapst, praising the team’s help-side defense and scoring, and the all-around contribution from her players.
The girls led early on and then maintained a narrow gap for the first half of the game, ending the second quarter with only a four-point deficit at 28-24.
However, they failed to maintain their defense in the second half, allowing the Lightning to pull ahead and increase the gap.
Top scorers for Stettler were Kayla Myshaniuk and Sydney Poapst, who both scored 14 points each.
Kim Poapst also noted that several players had recently attended a clinic hosted by Olympic basketball coach Shawnee Harle. Upon their return they worked with their teammates to incorporate new techniques into their play.
Junior varsity boys
Stettler’s junior varsity boys team also hosted the Hunting Hills Lightning on Jan. 7, beginning to fall behind in the first quarter and ultimately losing 69- 38.
Top scorer for Stettler was Alex LeBlanc with 14 points.
Coach Michael Kocher also had high praise for defenseman Paul Du Toit, and for Keegan St. Denis, who made a three-point basket.
“I think we played pretty good,” said Kocher. “We kept them at bay for the first period.”
On top of having three players quit so far this season, the team also grappled with illness this week.
Brandon Sukkau and Luke Skocdopole were both suffering with illness while St. Denis is recovering from a concussion, but all three were active on the court on Wednesday.
“With such a short bench, I think a lot of them have really stepped up their game,” said assistant coach Rachelle Campeau.
Both junior varsity teams are scheduled to visit Camrose on Wednesday, Jan. 14, followed by a tournament in Lacombe on the weekend of Jan. 16 and 17.
The teams will also visit Innisfail on Monday, Jan. 19, their last competition before the start of exams.