After a bit of a rough start to the season, the Ponoka Secondary Campus JV boys’ team won second place in a recent Lacombe tournament.
“It was a huge improvement over some of our other games,” said coach Ryan Newman.
During the small, eight-team tournament, Ponoka played out-of-the-area Calgary and Leduc teams as well as a Lacombe, who they play in regular season.
The first game against Calgary Academy was a back and forth battle for a close win.
“Right within the first minute, they were pressing us hard,” said Newman.
The Ponoka Broncs boys were down in the third quarter by approximately 15 points and Newman says it is a time like that when the boys usually break apart. During the tournament, however, the exact opposite took place.
“I’d say it was the first time in the season they truly worked as a team,” said Newman.
The boys’ second game was another fast-paced challenge against Lacombe. In the end, Ponoka won but the pressure of the game left them a little exhausted.
“That was the game I ended up using all of my time outs just to calm them down,” said Newman.
Even with their newly advanced skills on the court, there was no stopping Leduc and Ponoka lost by approximately 30 points.
“They were bigger than us, stronger than us,” said Newman.
Even with few mistakes on the court, Ponoka was simply outmatched. “It’s good to see what’s out there in terms of competition,” said Newman.
The loss was also a lesson to the boys in how to stay competitive with tougher, more experienced teams, according to coach Newman.