The Broncs senior boys’ basketball team had a strong weekend of basketball during its 24th annual Pump Classic.
Not only did the Broncs make it to the finals game against the Leduc Tigers, they also enjoyed playing in their newly renovated gymnasium.
Despite losing to the Tigers, the Broncs showed a willingness to adapt their play against a strong team. Coach Blaine Haines, in his last year as head coach for the Broncs, says he likes to let his players learn from their mistakes rather than change the flow of the game.
“I always take pride that my team can function with mistakes and learn from mistakes and try to get better on the fly,” said Haines.
With the Broncs volleyball season ended late due to players making it to provincials, Haines said his team only had six practices so far while some have had 19. Despite being behind in practices, Haines also has seven returning players who have experience in fast-paced basketball games and can help lead the team.
“It’s tough for me, but I try to let them play through their mistakes,” said Haines.
He uses practice times as a way to hone their skills for game time. “The best teams I’ve had have always been unafraid to make mistakes.”
The players are still at a point where they are more afraid to make mistakes, said Haines, which he feels is their biggest enemy right now. He’s training his players to be confident in their abilities.
“I tell them, high school basketball is a marathon, it’s not a sprint. You’ve got five months from the time we get started,” said Haines. “It’s not how you start the season, it’s how you finish the season.”
His goal is to give players more experience on the court so they can gain confidence over the season. As players get practices in, Haines suggests that confidence will continue to improve.
Haines praised teacher Darryl Feschuk for helping organize the Pump Classic. “Without Darryl Feschuk, this thing wouldn’t run.”
Haines also shared a fun fact about the Pump Classic; in its early days, organizers sought sponsorship. At one point Reebok supported the tournament with some Reebok Pump shoes, which were seeing strong promotion from the company, and it was named the Ponoka Pump. Eventually the name changed to what it is today.