Skyhawks pound PK
Decisive 38-point margin of victory in high school women's basketball
By: Jeff Hansen
| Posted: Saturday, Feb 08, 2014 06:00 am
Beating the Paul Kane Blues twice in four days was double the fun for the St. Albert Skyhawks.
The No. 4-ranked 4A high school women's basketball team in Alberta blasted the rival Blues by 38 points in Tuesday's metro Edmonton division one blowout after celebrating a convincing 25-point margin of victory in Saturday's final at the Skyhawks Invitational Tournament.
“It’s nice to win our home tournament but when it counts in league, especially to take them like that when they’re 5-0 and give them a loss, it feels really good,” said Marinya Marcichiw, a Grade 11 forward, after the 69-31 rematch at the SkyDome.
The 16th win in 18 games was also the fourth in five league matches for the two-time defending metro premier (now division one) champions.
“It’s definitely a big statement, especially since they’re second in the league right now,” Marcichiw said of the 5-1 Blues. “It will do us good and make us a stronger looking team.”
The Blues took the drubbing in stride.
“I don’t think we’re too discouraged. We just had some mistakes that we shouldn’t have made,” said Grade 11 winger Sydney Hurlburt. “SACHS always gives us good competition so that’s what we had out there.”
Unlike Saturday’s 61-36 crushing defeat – a first-quarter collapse left the Blues down and out at 22-4 after 10 minutes but they did outscore the Skyhawks by six points in the fourth quarter to salvage some pride – Paul Kane was solid in the first few minutes of play Tuesday before rapidly fading away.
“We had both ups and downs in both of our games so what we did worse in Saturday’s game I think we improved on here today,” said Hurlburt, the team’s top point producer in both losses with 14 Saturday and 12 Tuesday.
The Blues were simply outclassed for the second game in a row and defensively the Skyhawks were the superior side.
“They were really aggressive and I don’t think we were expecting them to be that aggressive because we haven’t played that kind of competition yet,” said Hurlburt, noting the Skyhawks ramped up their swarming defence from Saturday. “It was hard but we tried to push through it.”
The Skyhawks attacked with vengeance and forced the Blues to turn over the ball more times than the Paul Kane football team did all season.
“Our pressure was awesome. It was a good team effort,” Marcichiw said. “We controlled the tempo and that’s what we like to do with our defence. If we pressure them hard enough we’re going to get the steals we want and we’re going to get the looks we want.”
As the first quarter wound down, a 12-point run put the Skyhawks in control at 17-7.
It was 22-7 when the Blues finally scored in the second quarter on Kaitlyn Hunder’s three-pointer with 5:54 left until halftime.
A 28-13 advantage at the break turned into 45-19 runaway after three quarters. As the Skyhawks piled up the points with ease, so did the rising frustration of the Paul Kane fans over the officiating.
Marcichiw acknowledged the Skyhawks raised their level of play from Saturday’s impressive performance.
“We did a better job of keeping our energy up and being able to get our easies off of running and pressuring them,” said the big M. “We had our ups and downs today, especially in the second quarter when we had about eight minutes when we didn’t score, but then we really worked together as team and played pretty good.”
Co-captain Kayla Ivicak of the Skyhawks was the best player on the court with 20 points split evenly in both halfs. The MVP at the Skyhawks’ tournament also hit double digits in rebounding.
Marcichiw was equally as prolific as Ivicak – teammates on U17 Alberta at the 2013 Canada Summer Games – with 17 points. The majority of her baskets were determined efforts in the low post.
The Blues seems to bring out the best in the former junior high standout at Lorne Akins. She led all scorers Saturday with 17 points.
“I know them all. It’s nice to play against them because I remember playing against them when I was younger and playing with them too,” said Marcichiw, one of seven returning Skyhawks from last year’s 39-1 team that won a 3A provincial record fourth-straight championship.
Brielle Wise was credited with 11 points and Aphia Ward and Riki Steward also chipped in with timely baskets in the team’s first league game since defeating the No. 7-ranked 4A Bev Facey Falcons (6-1) 48-33 Jan. 8 at the SkyDome.
Tiana Woyewitka of the Blues tossed in nine points, including a three-pointer to open the scoring, as Paul Kane – 12-6 overall as a 4A honourable mention – struggled mightily putting points on the board.
“We just need to be a little tougher and really make those easy shots underneath,” Hurlburt said.
Friday the Skyhawks hosted the Archbishop MacDonald Marauders (0-6), but the score was unavailable at press time.
Monday the Skyhawks play the Archbishop Jordan Scots (1-5) at 5 p.m. at the SkyDome and the Blues challenge the Spruce Grove Panthers (8-0), ranked third in 4A, at 6:30 p.m. at Paul Kane.