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Skyhawks clipped in 4A showdown

High school women's basketball team loses tournament final to No. 1-ranked Chinook Coyotes in Lethbridge

By: Jeff Hansen

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 06:00 am

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The top two 4A high school women’s basketball teams in Alberta collided in Saturday’s final at the Coyote Invitational Tournament in Lethbridge.

And when the dust settled, the No. 1 Chinook Coyotes emerged victorious against the No. 2 St. Albert Skyhawks.

The host Coyotes outscored the Skyhawks 21-7 in the second quarter to lead 37-19 at halftime, en route to the 61-40 decision.

“I guess that’s why they are No. 1 right now,” said Paige Gaudreau, head coach of the Skyhawks, winners of four-straight 3A provincial gold medals before moving up to 4A this season. “We have lots to work on and improve, but this tournament was great for us because of all the strong competition.”

The eight-team draw featured four teams ranked top-10 in 4A and the No. 1-ranked 3A McCoy Colts of Medicine Hat, losers of the last three 3A provincial finals against the Skyhawks.

The Skyhawks shot only 27 per cent from the field against the Coyotes, long and athletic at most positions.

“We had troubles executing our press, which led to turnovers,” Gaudreau said.

The Skyhawks struggled trying to stop Kacie Bosch, a Team Alberta player who sank a game-high 25 points.

Kayla Ivicak and Marinya Marcichiw, teammates of Bosch on the U17 provincial squad at the 2013 Canada Summer Games, led the Skyhawks with 10 points apiece.

Jessa Ivicak grabbed a team-best 11 rebounds, Marcichiw had seven boards and Kayla pulled down five.

The Skyhawks advanced to the final by defeating the Holy Cross Crusaders of Saskatoon 62-51. At halftime it was knotted at 24.

“Holy Cross played a super up-tempo game, in-your-face pressure D and ran the floor well,” Gaudreau said. “In the second half we did a great job of executing and running our press break, which led to easy scores and was the difference in the game.”

Brielle Wise and Riki Steward paced the attack with 16 points apiece. Wise added eight boards and Steward had six, as the Skyhawks outrebounded the Crusaders at both ends of the floor.

The Skyhawks tipped off the tournament in Friday’s 54-41 win over the Cardston Cougars, ranked 10th in 4A.

The Skyhawks outscored the Cougars 14-9 in the third quarter and 19-11 in the fourth after the first half ended in a 21-all deadlock.

The Ivicak sisters combined for 30 points and 24 rebounds against the Cougars, led by Kayla’s 17 points and 13 boards.

They were named tournament all-stars.

The Skyhawks – 3-1 in metro Edmonton division one (the team’s only loss was 59-53 to the 6-0 Spruce Grove Panthers, ranked No. 5 in 4A) and 11-2 overall – host their invitational tournament Jan. 30 to Feb. 1.

The first league game after the exam break for the two-time defending metro Edmonton premier (now division one) champions is Feb. 4 against the Paul Kane Blues at 6:30 p.m. at the SkyDome.


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