Even though the Wm. E. Hay Stettler Secondary Campus’ boys’ junior varsity basketball team lost their Monday, Jan. 16 game to Ponoka Broncs, they left the court with high spirits having played one of their best games yet this season.
The two teams were relatively well matched, and the end result was a close game going to Ponoka 61-50.
The evening game pit the relatively novice Wildcats against the more seasoned Broncs, but Kevin Leis, the Wildcats’ coach, said the boys kept their calm and kept the heat on the visiting team. The
“It’s my first year coaching the team,” Leis said. “We have a lot of novice players, but they’ve become better over the past month.”
Leis said that half the team, before making the JV roster, had never actually played basketball before.
“They’re really starting to come together and gel,” he noted. “But we definitely have a very young team.”
Support from the crowd up in the stands helped keep the boys’ spirits high, as family and friends cheered the Wildcats on. By the time the game reached the halfway mark, the two teams were within striking range of each other – and Stettler knew it and kept after the ball, slapping it out of Ponoka’s hands at every opportunity.
“I think we controlled the ball better,” he said. “We didn’t turn it over as much as we have in the past.”
While the ball-handling was better, there were still some lapses in defensive play that Leis said will be a focus of the upcoming practices.
“Our defensive areas – blocking out, rebounding,” he pinpointed. “And free throws – we can always work on free throws.”
Even though the team lost, morale was high since the boys played the best they had all season.
“Today was the best game we’ve played by far,” Leis confirmed.