Skyhawks zone in
Edmonton zone elimination tournament for 3A provincials is underway for the St. Albert High men's basketball team
Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 06:00 am
Jasper Place – The St. Albert Skyhawks hope to rebound from Friday’s loss in the metro Edmonton division two basketball final with a winning performance in the 3A zone elimination tournament.
Two berths are up for grabs in the double-knockout playoff format for next week’s provincials at Winston Churchill High School in Lethbridge.
“We’ll refocus. The season still has a couple of weeks left in it,” said co-captain Andrew Salcedo after the Skyhawks fell 70-59 to the Holy Trinity Trojans in the playoffs. “Our goal is to get to provincials. We always focus on that for the end of the year. We’re looking forward to zones.”
The Skyhawks, seeded third in the eight-team tournament, hosted the sixth-seeded St. Joseph Saints on Tuesday but the score was unavailable at press time.
Today the Skyhawks will play the second-seeded St. Peter The Apostle Spartans in Spruce Grove or the seventh-seeded Louis St. Laurent Barons at the SkyDome.
The finals are Thursday in the A bracket and 11 a.m. Saturday in the B bracket.
Last year at zones the Skyhawks lost both the A and B finals.
The Skyhawks, a 3A honourable mention, finished 9-3 overall in league play after the 11-0 Trojans basically lead from start to finish in the championship tilt.
“Losses like this seem to help us grow. They seem to help us kind of shed some light on some areas on defence that we can work on,” said Salcedo, a Grade 11 forward who sank a team-high 24 points in the final.
The Trojans held the upper hand throughout the contest while posting leads of 22-11 in the first quarter, 37-25 at halftime and 52-37 after three quarters.
“Our focus was to have a really strong full game with no lapses, but basketball is a game of runs and they had theirs and it was unfortunate we weren’t able to fight back enough. We dug ourselves too big of a hole to come back,” Salcedo said.
The Trojans dialed up eight three-pointers and the last one with 2:28 to play made it 60-54 to clinch the victory.
“We knew they were a strong three-point team and they got shooters open and we paid for it,” Salcedo said. “The ball just bounced their way I guess.”
In the fourth quarter Skyhawks outscored the Trojans 17-5 until the second three-pointer of the period by Holy Trinity left St. Albert High looking at a five-point deficit.
After a Jordan Morrison basket, the Trojans converted an offensive rebound with 1:46 to play to start an eight-point run that ended with Morrison’s third three-ball of the game.
“We made a real good push,” Salcedo said. “We had it in our hands but we just let it slip through our fingers.”
Morrison drained 16 points overall for a team that placed third in pool B at 6-2.
“I’m pretty proud of the guys and how far we’ve come the whole season,” said Salcedo, 16.