Kings’ Nathan Padilla takes the circus-like shot from under the hoop

Kings’ Nathan Padilla takes the circus-like shot from under the hoop

Ponoka Kings hoops settle for fourth in tournament

A fourth place finish isn’t usually a positive, but likely pretty good given the competition for the St. Augustine Kings basketball team.

A fourth place finish isn’t usually a positive, but likely pretty good given the competition.

The St. Augustine Kings played host to its annual senior boys basketball tournament Feb. 24 and 25, winding up second in its round robin pool before falling short in the third place game.

The Kings tipped off the tournament on Friday afternoon against one of its league rivals, Ermineskin, winning 56-41. The club lost its other round robin contest Saturday by a score of 96-50 to a Calgary team.

Kings head coach Adam Bowie stated the club has beat Ermineskin both times in league play, so he knew just what to expect from them.

“The last time we played them, we came out over-confident.” he stated.

“So, our goal was to come out and play our game no matter who we were playing.”

Both squads struggled early on, but the Kings managed to start finding the basket in the second quarter and cruised to the victory. It was a different story versus Calgary, with the home side letting things get away in the second half.

“We were down at half by 11, but I felt that we were playing with them quite well. Our defence was doing great, limiting them to one shot when they came down on offence,” Bowie said.

Unfortunately, Bowie explained the boys came out flat to start the third quarter, which handed Calgary the run they needed.

“They went on a quick 10-point run and we just couldn’t recover. We were playing catch up at that point and against a good team, we just can’t do that,” he added.

That pitted the Kings against a more experienced club from Breton in the battle for third place, which the Kings kept close but wound up losing 62-51.

Despite the loss, Bowie felt it was the team’s best played game of the tournament.

The Kings led the game by six at halftime, but Breton kept pushing the pace and began to creep back into the contest.

“I felt that we were outplaying them in the first half. Our biggest problem, I thought, was our defensive rebounding,” Bowie said.

“They kept getting third and fourth chance shot opportunities and that kills any team, especially ours.”

He added those opportunities led to the Kings giving away points, which then led to nerves and forced shots plus poor passing choices later on as his club tried to get back into the game.

“We were forcing things instead of playing our game moving the ball to get a shot and using our speed to get open looks,” he stated.

“Our team has been in lots of tough, close games as of late, so we have been working on that. Overall, it was a great tournament and a great three games to be in.”

Holding court Bowie feels the club has learned a number of things at the tournament that will benefit them in the long run, especially with some important league contests coming. One game went Monday night at St. A’s with the Kings taking on Lacombe’s Central Alberta Christian High School and coming out on the losing side of a 92-32 score. The Kings will also play Rimbey tonight (March 1) at Rimbey.