Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 06:00 am
The St. Albert Skyhawks and Paul Kane Blues are on the same side of the draw at the 4A provincial high school women’s basketball championship in Lethbridge.
The Skyhawks are ranked fourth and the Blues are eighth in the 16-team tournament.
Thursday the Blues play the No. 9-ranked Ernest Manning Griffins of Calgary at 5 p.m. and the Skyhawks face the No. 13-ranked St. Francis Browns of Calgary.
Friday at 9 a.m. the Blues will tangle with the No. 1-ranked Chinook Coyotes of Lethbridge or the 16th-ranked Grande Prairie Composite Totems and at 11 a.m. the Skyhawks take on the No. 5-ranked Centennial Coyotes of Calgary or the No. 12-ranked Catholic Central Cougars of Cardston.
The Raymond Comets are ranked No. 2 and the Spruce Grove Panthers are No. 3 in the draw. Visit www.asaa.ca for the tournament schedule.
The Skyhawks are making their 4A provincial debut after winning the 3A championship the last four years. Last year’s historic banner marked the ninth consecutive 3A provincial appearance for St. Albert Catholic High School.
The Skyhawks are 27-4 overall after losing the metro Edmonton division one final to the Panthers 70-65 March 8 to finish 13-2 in league play.
The Panthers also beat the Skyhawks 59-53 in metro action in December in St. Albert and 66-44 in the Panther Classic final last month against a line-up of only seven Skyhawks.
The Skyhawks also dropped a 61-40 decision to the host Coyotes at the Chinook tournament in January.
The Blues are 24-9 overall after defeating the Strathcona Lords 77-60 at Paul Kane to determine the third and fourth Edmonton zone seeds at provincials. The Lords are ranked 11th at provincials.
The Blues are 0-3 against the Skyhawks (losses of 61-36 in the Skyhawks Invitational Tournament final, plus 69-31 in metro action and 56-39 in the division one semifinal at the SkyDome to finish 11-3 in league play) and 0-2 against the Panthers (losses of 68-34 at the Totem Hoop Classic at Ross Sheppard High School in December and 56-49 in metro action last month at Paul Kane).
The Blues are going to their second provincials in three years. As the 10th-ranked 4A team in 2012 the Blues lost their first two games before ending the tournament with a 16-point win over the 14th-ranked Lloydminster Barons.
The Sturgeon Spirits will make their provincial debut in high school basketball after winning the men’s A final in the 3A Edmonton zone elimination tournament.
Jacob Kaup netted 16 points and Corbin McCormack dropped in 14 in Thursday’s 70-59 decision against the St. Albert Skyhawks at the SkyDome to punch Sturgeon’s ticket to provincials at Winston Churchill High School in Lethbridge.
Sturgeon Composite High School opened in 1978.
In the semifinals the Spirits knocked off the Edmonton Christian Lions, the top seed in the tournament and last year’s provincial champion, 71-61 in the Lions’ home gym.
In the tournament opener fourth-seeded Sturgeon crushed the fifth-seeded Eastglen Blue Devils 109-57 in Namao.
At provincials Sturgeon is ranked sixth and the Lions are ninth in the 12-team draw.
Sturgeon’s first game is 7 p.m. Thursday against the 11th ranked Barrhead Gryphons.
The Chestermere Lakers are ranked No. 1, the host Winston Churchill Bulldogs are No. 2 and W.R. Myers Rebels of Taber are No. 3. Visit www.asaa.ca for the tournament schedule.
Sturgeon is 15-18 overall going into provincials. In metro Edmonton division one the Spirits finished 12th out of 14 teams at 2-11. The Lions placed ninth at 5-8.
Head coach Tim Spenrath said Sturgeon struggled to close out games in a tough division comprised mostly of elite 4A teams and estimates the Spirits would have won nine more games if they played 20-minute games instead of 40-minute contests.
Sturgeon also won the J. Percy Page tournament to tip off the season, lost their Rise Up tournament final by 13 points to the Bev Facey Falcons and during the Christmas break played three games in Phoenix.
Sturgeon will graduate four players from its 12-man roster.
Three of the eight St. Albert SLAM Basketball Club teams at the Basketball Alberta Youth Provincial Championships reached the medal podium last weekend at the Saville Community Sports Centre.
The bantam A girls went 24-0 during the season and in the final defeated Calwest, also undefeated at 23-0.
The midget A boys were sliver medallists and in the semifinal defeated a Calgary team with a three-point shot at the buzzer.
The midget A girls were bronze medallists after beating all the Edmonton teams in their pool.
Hawks zoned out
The St. Albert Skyhawks failed to win the big game for the second year in a row after losing the A and B finals in the 3A Edmonton zone elimination tournament.
The Skyhawks had two cracks at going to provincials but were unable to beat two division one teams who finished out of the metro Edmonton playoffs.
Saturday the division two men’s playoff finalists never recovered from an early deficit and lost 83-74 to the host Edmonton Christian Lions in the B final.
After the sixth of seven three-pointers by Dayn Scaber tied it at 51 with 4:55 left in the third quarter the Lions scored six points in a row to regain the lead. At quarter time the Skyhawks trailed 61-55.
In the last 10 minutes Leningrad Poserio’s second three-ball of the game with under three minutes to play cut the deficit to 75-71.
Scaber’s last three-pointer, the team’s 10th in the loss, lifted the Skyhawks to within five of the Lions at 79-74 with 44.4 seconds remaining.
Scaber finished the final with 25 points. In the first half the Grade 12 guard drained three of his four three-balls during a 3:24-minute span in the second quarter to close the gap to 38-34 with 1:31 until the break. He tossed in 14 overall in the first half.
Andrew Salcedo, a Grade 11 workhorse in the paint, pumped in 20 points before fouling out with 24 seconds to go and the Lions in front 80-74.
Jordan Morrison tacked up 16 points and Poserio added nine for the Skyhawks, ranked as a 3A honourable mention.
The Lions jumped out to leads of 20-15 at the end of the first quarter and 41-36 at halftime as the Skyhawks struggled rebounding their missed shots.
Wily guard Daniel Rozema shredded the Skyhawks for a game-high 36 points and Brent Hofstede, a husky post player, chipped in with 20.
In the A final Thursday the Skyhawks scrambled to keep it close against the Sturgeon Spirits in the 70-59 loss at the SkyDome.
Last year the Skyhawks dropped the A-final 79-78 to the Lions, who scored the winning basket with 11.4 seconds to play on their home court, and the B final 71-67 to the Leduc Tigers in St. Albert.