There was little chance for Ponoka Secondary Campus’ JV Broncs as they went head to head against the Wetaskiwin Sabres Wednesday, Jan. 13 at home.
By the end of the first half, the Broncs were down 40–14 and the Sabres seemed to have the strength, height and the experience to keep a strong lead. They were, actually, unstoppable. The Broncs lost 84-25.
Coach Ryan Newman said going against the highest ranked team in their league was a challenge for his players. “The focus of the game was simply to not give up and not give in.”
The Broncs had no chance at winning and while their future was clearly written, they did not give up and continued to drive the lane against the Sabres. They did not have much chance to score against taller players and while the Sabres’ points kept rising in leaps Ponoka’s only inched its way up. Despite their best efforts, Ponoka boys struggled to sink a single basket for much of the third quarter.
A strong defence and offence from the Sabres kept the ball in Ponoka’s side for much of the game and when the Broncs managed to find a chance at a breakaway, Wetaskiwin was ready to recover the ball with a turnover. They seemed to read every play the Broncs threw at them, but Ponoka boys still kept trying, never giving up.
Newman said many of his players haven’t played on a basketball team before, which has created a need this season to build skills and confidence on the court.
“I have seen a remarkable amount of improvement in the boys so far,” said Newman.
He added that team captain Clayton Raugust has been integral in keeping players’ heads in the game.
Where the Broncs managed to slow the Sabres down was in their passing. Keeping up quick, multiple passes in the Sabres’ half of the court created confidence in the home team. That strategy, when used, worked. It gave the Sabres a sense of urgency and they made unforced errors because of it, which garnered Ponoka valuable points.
However, it was not enough to defeat the Sabres.