Senior girl Wildcats keep basketball medal hope alive

Wm. E Hay’s senior Wildcat girls remain the only team with a chance to advance to the provincials among the Wm. E. Hay basketball teams and they will find out if they can make it when they play at home against Ponoka today, Wednesday, March 10.

A relentless effort -  In the senior girls’ home game last week

A relentless effort - In the senior girls’ home game last week

Wm. E Hay’s senior Wildcat girls remain the only team with a chance to advance to the provincials among the Wm. E. Hay basketball teams and they will find out if they can make it when they play at home against Ponoka today, Wednesday, March 10.

The senior girls captured this opportunity despite having lost 68-53 to Camrose in an away game on Monday, March 8, thanks to a wildcard in the zone.

Lady Wildcats earlier wrestled away the chance to play Camrose in a home game after beating Lacombe in a hard-fought battle last week.

“We squeezed out a win by two points, and Katrena Heier was our main contributor in that game,” said senior girls’ coach Rachelle Campeau.

As for senior boy Wildcats, they wrapped up the season with a record of 6-11 after they lost their last game of the season to Wetaskiwin 82-38 in an away game last Wednesday, March 3.

Coach Joe Thibeau said the highlight of the season was the second place his team attained at Lacombe’s Snowfest Tournament a few weeks ago.

He said he did expect at least two of his players to be invited to the Senior Bowl, – a kind of all star game for the region- which is scheduled to take place on March 24 at the Red Deer College.

With regard to the JV girls, the young Wildcats ended the year by taking part in a tournament in Camrose on March 5 and 6.

“The girls finished the regular reason with a record of 4 wins and 4 losses and finished fifth overall out of nine schools,” coach Norbert Baharally said.

At the weekend tournament, JV girls first played against Ponoka and lost 48-36, but came back to overpower Lacombe 64-42.

“This put us in the consolation final on Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately, the girls lost 52-36. The girls were down by two at half time and then by four at the end of three quarters but due to injuries, we were down to only two substitutes and the girls worked extremely hard, but in the end were not able to keep up with the Lindsay Thurber bench,” said Baharally.

Nevertheless, the coach expressed satisfaction with the JV girls’ performance.

“Overall, our team had a very successful year. We finished with an overall record (including tournaments) with a record of 11 wins and 8 losses,” said Baharally.

“Although we had somekey injuries towards the end of the year and only finished the season with eight players, those eight players worked tremendously hard and played with 100 effort of energy, effort and attitude.”

“I would like to thank the girls and I hope they had as much fun and enjoyment as I did,” he concluded..

JV boys’ coach Warren Aspenes was also satisfied with his team’s performance despite the less-than-shining results over the course of the season.

“This was definitely a rebuilding year for the program as most of the players were relatively new to competitive basketball,” said Aspenes after the conclusion of the weekend tournament in Camrose.

“The boys progressed tremendously throughout the season especially in the defensive areas of the game.”

“Hopefully the boys will take advantage of some of the various camps offered throughout central Alberta this summer to develop their offensive skills,” he added.

At the tournament, the boys were not able to come out with any victories losing to Camrose 60-19, Lindsay Thurber 79-21 and Ponoka 65-45.

With the renovations of the Wm. E Hay gym set to be completed in the next few weeks, a factor that has severely constrained the training schedule of Wildcat teams, coaches and players believe that they can do much better next year.