Kings and Queens finish tournament with heart

The royals of St. Augustine, the Kings and Queens basketball teams, played to the best of their abilities in a home court tournament

Christian Acasta races down the court

Christian Acasta races down the court

The royals of St. Augustine, the Kings and Queens basketball teams, played to the best of their abilities in a home court tournament over the weekend, with the girls finishing fourth, boys seventh.

“The tournament was fantastic, there was some great basketball,” said girls’ coach Kevin Prediger.

While neither team was able to beat some of the tougher teams, Prediger and boys’ coach Nathan Dixon worked to instill in the teams the idea that the score isn’t the most important part of the game.

“Our motto is it doesn’t matter whether you win or lose as long as you look good doing it,” said Prediger. “For me it’s not just about basketball, it’s about hanging out as a team.

Prediger says the girls played well during the tournament. “Our defense was really good, which is what we’ve been working on.”

In the future, what Prediger is calling phase 2 of the teams’ growth, he’ll work with the girls on offense and playing together as a team.

During the tournament Prediger saw a lot of high post defense and he wants to work on that.

“St. Francis was an excellent team. We’re just glad we kept them at 24 points.”

Dixon feels the Kings also have a few skills to work on for the next tournament. “We were expecting to take it closer than it was. But we got dominated on the rebounds.”

Since the tournament wasn’t going as well as he hoped, Dixon wanted to make it a learning experience for the boys. He stressed to the boys not to worry about the scores. “The scores are irrelevant.”

The beauty of tournaments, since they don’t count in league play, is they can be more fun and a better place to learn, said Dixon. This is partly due to the different teams they were exposed to.

Dixon wants to improve the boys’ team defense abilities. The players can become so focused on their mark they lose sight of the ball, he said.

He also wants to work on passing, cutting and moving around the court to create opportunities.

However, Dixon says the Kings also played with a lot of strength. “When we do pick up full court pressure the turnovers happen very fast. That’s a very big strength of ours, when we’re conscious of it.”

“Offense went well, with several players being able to drive the ball,” he added.

Dixon says the Kings have several talented players and he wants them to use that strength to create more opportunities during games.

“Airon (Balatbat), he has the ability to do anything he wants … but with his skills he can also create open jump shots for other players. It’s more about trusting your teammates,” said Dixon.

One skill the team doesn’t have to work on is a positive attitude or encouragement.

“No one would come up to me and complain about anything.”

Because the Kings have several grade 7 and 8 students Dixon knew mistakes were going to be made and an encouraging attitude was needed.