The season is quickly grinding to a halt for the senior basketball squads at Ponoka Secondary Campus.
Each of the Broncs senior boys and girls have just one game remaining in the regular season — at Notre Dame in Red Deer Feb. 15 — with only the girls having a shot to make the post-season zone playoff tournament.
However, both clubs did have an opportunity Feb. 6 to show their appreciation for the five Grade 12 players making their final appearance on their home court as the Broncs played host to St. Joseph’s High School from Red Deer.
Unfortunately for both the boys and girls they each started strong only to watch a half-time lead disappear and never get it back. For the girls, it wound up as a 45-39 loss while the boys fell 75-55.
“It was a tough game. With it being senior night, it was great to see our only senior Dakotah Nichols come out strong early and help us to a 28-19 lead at the half,” stated girls head coach Cam Horan. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t keep it.”
In the end, Broncs scoring was led by Paisely Wilson with 13 — including three from beyond the arc. Nadia Simons chipped in nine while Nichols notched eight points in the losing cause.
For the boys, it was a tough second half, something coach Scott Brown stated has plagued the team all season. The Broncs took a 42-36 lead into half-time, but could only manage one bucket in the third quarter — missing all eight three-point attempts to go along with four missed free throws and five more two-point attempts.
“Third quarters have been a problem for us all year and it was no different against St. Joe’s,” he said, noting the opposition’s full court pressure contributed to their troubles.
“Handling the full court pressure is one of our weaknesses, but we’re working on it. The boys did an awesome job getting to the free throw line, but we just couldn’t get one to go.”
Karson Mathieu had 15 points, all but four coming in the second quarter, and led the charge for the Broncs. Riley Fillinger was the only other to hit double digits, putting away 12.
Brown said the four seniors — Hayden Krzywy, Gavin Hindley, Andrew Barnes and Evret Fillinger — were great to have as each one helped provide something important this season.
The boys were also in Stettler on Feb. 8, posting a 75-49 win in what Brown described as a nice victory.
Meanwhile, the girls were in Rocky Mountain House at the St. Dominic’s tournament, where Horan felt good about the team’s defensive play. However, it was the trouble getting the ball into the hoop in their first two games versus Lacombe and Assumption from Cold Lake that was a concern. The Broncs did rebound to win their final game of the tournament.
Both clubs were in Lacombe last night (Feb. 13, results unavailable) and the girls are the ones with a chance to remain on the court after this week.
Horan stated the team is presently sixth in the 3A Central Alberta league, meaning they could host the play-in game if they can hang onto that spot.