The Stettler Wildcats senior girls’ team posted a 3-0 record Saturday to win the Bentley high school basketball tournament. In the back row (from left) are Allie Hiemstra

Wildcats purr with perfect record to win Bentley tourney

The Stettler Wildcats were in fine form Saturday as they won their three games to garner top honours

The Stettler Wildcats were in fine form Saturday as they won their three games to garner top honours in the Subway Classic senior girls’ high school basketball tournament at Bentley.

“We played three games in one day, which tested our fitness,” said coach Charisse McDonald, whose Wildcats defeated Olds 66-27 in the final.

“The final was anti-climactic. The bottom teams of the draw were quite a bit stronger than the top four teams, so we ended up playing the final in our semifinal game.

“We played Olds (in the gold-medal game) and dominated from the beginning.”

Jamie Ternes scored 23 points for the Wildcats. Claire Aspenes added 14 points as each Stettler player figured in the scoring in the final.

In their toughest test of the tournament, the Wildcats beat Drumheller 52-50 in their semifinal.

“It was our best contest of the day,” McDonald said. “We were up by six to eight points the whole game, but Drumheller kept it close, using their height.

“All the teams we played in this tournament had a couple of players at six feet or more, so we struggled to rebound and shoot. (The two-point victory) was our first close win of the year.”

All members of the Wildcats scored against Drumheller. Aspenes led the way with 14 points and Carly Armstrong contributed eight.

In its opening game, Stettler topped New Norway 51-35.

“It was closer than the score would indicate,” McDonald said. “New Norway had a big height advantage, but our fast break was the game-changer.”

Aspenes scored 16 points and Kelsey Fisher had 10.

The tournament championship capped a winning week for the Wildcats, who beat the West Central Rebels of Rocky Mountain House 54-26 in a league game last Tuesday at Stettler.

“This was a big game for us, as they are a 3A school and we are all competing for a playoff spot,” McDonald said. “There are eight 3A schools in our league, but only six make the playoffs.

“(The Rebels) arrived late, which made for a very strange game. Rather than have them travel all that way and forfeit, we played the first half in running time to catch up, so it went very quickly.

“It was a very physical game, with numerous fouls and six technicals handed out to Rocky. Our fast break was working in the second half.”

Stettler’s top scorers were Dacia Gramlick, with 17 points, and Aspenes with 15.

The Wildcats were scheduled to face Lacombe this Tuesday night at home. They finish their regular season next Tuesday at Camrose.

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