It’s been a short opening to the basketball season for the senior squads at Ponoka Secondary, though both made the most of it before the holiday break began this week.
On the girls’ side, they got their home schedule off on the right foot by posting a 36-21 victory over Rocky Mountain House on Tuesday, Dec. 15 to even their league record to 1-1 before heading to Airdrie for a tournament over the weekend, where they finished a respectable fourth after losing in the consolation final.
Head coach Cam Horan was really pleased with the efforts of the girls the past week.
“The girls played great (versus Rocky), mainly behind our defence,” he stated.
“While, we played phenomenal on the weekend considering the fact we were short-handed. Once again, our defence was extremely strong, and the consolation final loss might have been closer or even a different result all together if we had more bodies to be able to keep up with Sylvan Lake.”
Horan’s tournament crew consisted of just eight players, who ended up simply just worn out and exhausted in their last game, with the game ending as only a loss by 12 points – a great testament given the situation.
The girls will be right back into the thick of things when school returns – as they will face off against Lindsay Thurber on Tuesday, Jan. 5 in their first post-break game, then will be hosting the annual Swoosh tournament on Jan. 8 and 9, something Horan in looking forward to.
Two forward, one back
Over of the boys side of the bucket, the Broncs pulled out a huge 85-61 win over Rocky Mountain House on Dec. 15 at home, playing what head coach Tylor Johnson called a nearly perfect game.
“Rocky brought some serious intensity and pace from the start. They were very well coached and we struggled to keep up for the first few minutes,” explained Johnson.
“Eventually we figured out what they were attempting to do and we started playing perfect basketball.”
Jaden Sandins led the team with 23 points in the game where the Broncs never trailed after the first four minutes. Leading the way on the boards and defensively were Nils Simons and Blake Waldron.
Johnson added the game was the best he saw the boys play so far, by keeping to the basics and not forcing things which created too many turnovers.
“I’ve been preaching – to simplify the game – they did and everything we had struggled with in previous games, especially rebounding and press break, turned around,” he said.
“When we play simple, we are successful. We can compete with most teams if we play the right way. I really hope this shows the kids that when they play the system, and keep it simple, we are a tough team to play against.”
The boys also played an exhibition game on Thursday, Dec. 17, but things didn’t go well and Johnson took the blame, explaining the guys were too tired.
“It was our fifth game in seven days, they had zero energy and it was a tough one to watch,” Johnson said.
“I’m upset with myself for putting us in that situation, but I’m not too worried about it though. The guys gave everything they had, but I think the positive momentum we built by taking bronze in our home tourney and the win over Rocky won’t be taken away by this.”
The boys’ next action will also be Jan. 5 against Thurber.