The Stettler Wildcats senior girls’ team showed spunk last Thursday night, despite losing 57-40 to the reputable Hunting Hills Lightning in high school basketball action at Red Deer.
The Wildcats trailed by just two points entering the final quarter, but couldn’t stave off the Lightning on their home court.
“We got off to our typically slow start, but our defence kept us in,” said Wildcats coach Charisse McDonald.
“We went down by 12 early, but kept it close until midway through the fourth quarter.
“Hunting pressed us the entire game and we panicked and in the fourth. Hunting made us pay with several layups off steals from their press, which clinched the game for them.”
The Wildcats made things interesting with a rally late in the third quarter that closed the gap to two points.
“We had a few steals of our own from Carly Armstrong and Dacia Gramlick,” McDonald said.
Gramlick finished with 18 points, while senior Claire Aspenes had 11 points.
“Playing these strong 4A teams and coming close is a huge boost for us,” McDonald said.
“Even though we lost, keeping it close like we did felt like a victory. We have been able to put three strong quarters together several times this year, but not a full game. That is our goal — to play a full game playing our best ball. Our defence has continued to show improvement, but rebounding is still our biggest challenge. We are a smaller team in the league this year, so rebounding becomes critical and we have just not quite met the challenge yet.”
The Wildcats are missing the services of Grade 11 sparkplug Jamie Ternes, who sprained an ankle before Christmas and is expected to be sidelined for at least a couple of more weeks.
After an exam break, the Wildcats return to action at Leduc on Feb. 1 and Feb. 2.