The St. Augustine Catholic School’s junior high Kings blew up the court at the CWAJHAA tournament over the weekend with a series of assertive wins.
After beating the Lacombe Christian School in the championship game 51-44 on Saturday, March 14, the boys were crowned the gold medal winners of the CWAJHAA “JJ” Boys tournament.
The Kings played their first two of three games Friday evening, winning both games 33- 18 and 60-34, respectively.
“Overall it was pretty good. We were prepared for Lacombe Christian in the finals,” said assistant coach Kristin Prediger.
The two teams had already played each other three times over the course of the season, with Lacombe winning twice.
“It could have gone either way,” said Prediger, referring to the gold medal game.
Aside from winning, Prediger says the team’s shining moment was when they rallied to battle after learning their head coach would not be able to come to the tournament.
However, she says coach Kevin Prediger has taught them so much over the year and they were ready to come together for the win, using the skills they acquired under the head coach.
“They were upset, they didn’t think they could do it. It took a lot of heart to think they could win,” said Prediger. “They pushed through it.”
She is also proud of the team’s younger players, some still in Grade 7, who took to the court and scored. “My team just lights up,” she said.
The Kings’ final game is when all the boys’ hard work and practice finally came to head, says Prediger. “We actually worked together as a team,” she commented.
“We had a lot of energy, that’s how we won this game. We play with heart,” she added.
Over the season, the boys have struggled with teamwork, but that was not the case during the tournament. “They finally, finally did it this weekend. They worked really hard for this,” said Prediger.
Passing was also a concept the boys struggled with earlier, but during their three games the players could move more the ball efficiently over the court without too many turnovers.
As the final game progressed, both teams increased their intensity on the court, but Prediger feels the boys were not dominated. “It was on fire. They’re very aggressive. They wanted to win,” said Prediger.