Mecca Glen Pride’s junior high girls could not contain their excitement after winning a tough finals against the Rimbey Spartans.
The Pride played the Spartans Feb. 27 in Ponoka during the Wolf Creek junior high basketball championships and it actually looked like they were going to lose.
All throughout the game the Spartans were ahead and they looked like they were going to win the gold medal but the last quarter the tables turned thanks to some heavy Pride pressure.
Indeed, at the start of the fourth quarter Pride was down 23-13 and all the players looked tired but coach Adam Troitsky and the fans didn’t let up hope.
“I just kept telling them that they had to believe,” said Troitsky.
“I kept telling the girls that we could score 10.”
Somehow Pride was able to make some strong defensive plays that slowed down the Spartans. With only a few minutes left in the fourth quarter player Marissa Laye grabbed a rebound and dribbled down to the Spartans’ net eventually scoring.
That rejuvenated the team.
“Little plays like that can change the game,” offered Troitsky. “Where it’s a little bit disheartening to the other team and it’s little bit of momentum for your team.”
He praised Laye for the play but also the entire team. “The kids are fantastic and they did all the work.”
Their intensity was such that Rimbey scored only one point in the fourth quarter while Mecca Glen scored 12. There was only a couple dozen seconds left in the game when Gwen Quapp scored the winning basket. And that’s when the fans erupted in cheers.
Troitsky praised the Spartans for a challenging finals game.
Next up for the girls is the CWAJHAA finals.
St. Augustine junior Kings
For the junior A Kings it was a close match up against Lacombe’s College Heights Christian School Wildcats.
The game went right down to the final quarter with both teams playing an intense defensive strategy, however, the Kings eventually lost 57-50 to the Wildcats.
Coach Glen Kawahara knew this was going to be a battle as the Kings have played the Wildcats three times this season losing all three games.
“We were behind pretty much the whole game…We knew we were in tough,” said Kawahara.
Part of the challenge was playing against several strong players on the Wildcats team.
While the Kings were down for much of the game there were a few opportunities that almost changed the balance. “We’ve been behind some games and come back,” said Kawahara.
“We try to run a lot of defense and make use of the kids we have (14 players),” said Kawahara.
For the Kings it’s all about playing as a team and supporting each other on the court. “Team win. Team defense. That’s kind of our philosophy.”
Next up for the Kings is CWAJHAA playdowns in Rimbey.
“I’ve been extremely proud pf the boys all season. They’re not just strong basketball players they’re also great young men,” Kawahara added.
Next year will be a challenge with 12 players moving up to the junior varsity and senior high level.