Girl Broncs place third in annual tournament

Girls take great pride in placing third at annual Swoosh tournament at home

  • Jan. 13, 2016 12:00 p.m.
Broncs’ most prolific scorer during the annual Swoosh tournament Lindsey Gartner rises for a layup against Pigeon Lake high school defense in the opening game of the tournament on Friday

Broncs’ most prolific scorer during the annual Swoosh tournament Lindsey Gartner rises for a layup against Pigeon Lake high school defense in the opening game of the tournament on Friday

By Ponoka News Staff

Senior girl Broncs placed third in the annual Swoosh tournament they hosted over the weekend, winning two of their games but losing one to Lacombe Rams, the tournament champions.

Throughout the tournament, Broncs’ coach Cameron Horan used one effective tactic when his team came under pressure: full court man-to-man defense. While it worked in some instances, it failed in others, particularly against the Rams.

In the opening game which suffered from a severe scoring drought, Ponoka girls used their dominance in defensive rebounds and their strong defence skills to win over Pigeon Lake with a score of 33-21. In the third quarter of this game, Broncs defence worked so well that the opponents could not score a single point,

The second game was a different story. The Rams, clearly a more practised team, had superior ball handling and ball movement skills. Despite that, the Broncs opened a seven-point lead in the first quarter, which came down to three by the end of the first half. The Rams first took the lead in fourth minute of the third quarter and kept widening it through the fourth quarter. Broncs made a desperate comeback effort in the last three minutes of the game with the help of two back-to-back three pointers, but it was too little, too late, and the Rams won the game 31-26.

In their third and last game of the weekend, senior girl Broncs took on Camrose Trojans and won comfortably 52-37. By their third game, Ponoka girls’ execution of plays and their ball movement had clearly improved, as confirmed by the scoreboard.

Broncs’ most efficient players through the tournament were point guard Allie Wynychuk and centre Lindsey Gartner.

“Our team success was mostly predicated on our team defence this weekend,” said Horan after the tournament. “Moving forward, we hope to keep this good play going into the second half of the season.”

Regular season action

The senior boys had a tough go against the Ecole Secondaire Lindsay Thurber Raiders Tuesday, Jan. 5 losing 72-34.

The girls also had one of their toughest games of the season losing 59-18. The Raiders’ full court press proved too strong for the Broncs who struggled to make it through the paint for a scoring opportunity.

They also attempted to make passing opportunities but the Raiders were ready for most of their moves and dominated the game.

The boys, facing similar challenges, were down 17-7 at the end of the first quarter. The Broncs’ only saving grace was their zone defense against the Raiders, which slowed them up a bit in the paint.

Playing against a 4A team was tough for the 3A Broncs, not only because of the level of the opponent, but also for missing two starters.

Coach Tylor Johnson said his biggest goal was to see players in the game 100 per cent. “Effort is something we can always control, no matter the circumstances. I really think this game will give us the jolt of confidence we needed going into the stretch run of the season.”

While the Broncs weren’t able to make any major headway through that points gap, the players did make several adjustments throughout the game against the onslaught. Corey Fillinger played much of the game knowing there was no one to replace him. When he took a break, it showed in the team’s performance.

“He just goes out there and takes control of the game,” said Johnson.

“You could see the shift of play turn heavily in Thurber’s favour when he came off,” he added.

Despite those challenges, Johnson said every player did their best. Another tactic during the game was to use Evert Fillinger’s powerful long range shots.

“Evert is a pure shooter,” said Johnson.

“Big story for us in this game was just not making many shots that we probably should have made had we had a little more luck,” he added.