For the second straight year, the St. Augustine Kings senior boys basketball team finished in second place in their home tournament.
Last year the Kings fell by four in the final to Wainwright.
While the story was a bit different this year, the outcome was the same as the Kings lost the final to Wainwright 67-65 on Feb. 22.
Kings head coach Adam Bowie, like his team, was a bit disheartened, but very pleased with how his roster competed and the effort put in.
“It was heartbreaking, but this team did all of the things they needed to win,” he said, following the contest.
Both teams ran the floor for most of the game, with each squad employing the full court press nearly each time a basket was scored.
The largest lead either team had was eight points, with the score tied at 30 when halftime hit.
“With such a close game, the little things get multiplied. Missed fouls, missed free throws, turnovers. Yeah, the kids will lose some sleep over that, but when it’s that close …
“But like I told them, the idea is to look back at what you did well and learn from that. That’s why it is so important to be in tight games like this.”
Bowie added his team did a good job holding Wainwright’s two big shot threats in check, but not until the fourth quarter.
“In the end though, this is the kind of game you want in the final. Both teams deserved to win that. Both benches were into it, the fans were into it. It was just so fun to be a part of it,” he said.
“That said, all weekend saw some good basketball.”
The Kings made the final courtesy of a 79-36 victory in their opener Feb. 21 against Caroline, then posting an 82-64 win in the semi-final over New Norway the next morning.
The tournament featured some other good news, the junior varsity Kings captured the consolation side with a victory over Caroline following an initial loss to Wainwright and defeating West Central’s junior varsity team out of Rocky Mountain House.
“The juniors were very successful over the weekend. The future looks pretty good for St. A’s basketball. They are just such great kids and so good for the program,” he added.
The Kings are now looking ahead to finishing off league play and preparing for the 2A zone playoff which will be held at David Thompson High in Condor.