The St. Albert Skyhawks varsity women’s team and the Paul Kane Blues’ junior boys and girls will hoop it up at the 28th annual Jasper Place High School REB International Invitational Basketball Tournament.

The opening game for the Skyhawks in the eight-team women’s draw is Thursday against the host Jasper Place Rebels at 2:30 p.m. A win would put the Skyhawks in Friday’s 6 p.m. semifinal. A loss would drop them into the consolation round for a game Friday at 2 p.m.

After the tournament the Skyhawks fly to Cuba to train and play with young athletes identified as potential candidates of the Cuba national basketball program. The players have collected uniforms, shoes and equipment to give to kids during their stay in Cuba.

The eight-team junior girls’ draw for Paul Kane starts tonight at 6 p.m. against the Harry Ainlay Titans. The tip-off for the Paul Kane junior boys in their eight-team draw is 8 p.m. Thursday against the Western Canada Redmen.

The tournament website is www.jasperplace.ca

The St. Albert Raiders extended their undefeated streak to seven games (six wins and one tie) in the Alberta Midget AAA Hockey League last weekend on the road.

Against south division teams they tied the UFA Bisons (7-10-3) 5-5 Saturday at Strathmore and dumped the Calgary Buffaloes (8-8-4) 8-3 Sunday.

In the north standings the Raiders (13-3-3) share first place with the Lloydminster Bobcats (13-1-3). The Border City team has two games in hand on St. Albert.

The Raiders play three games in five days, starting Friday in Red Deer against the south division-leading Rebels (11-4-2)) at 8 p.m. Saturday at 7:30 p.m. they visit the Calgary Royals (6-8-4) at Stu Peppard Arena. Tuesday at 8 p.m. they face off against the Fort Saskatchewan Rangers (4-11-2) at JRC Arena.

Meanwhile, tickets are on sale for the Jan. 10 game between the Canadian national women’s team and the Raiders at Performance Arena. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth under 12 and seniors. Tickets are available at St. Albert Source for Sports stores. Game time is 6 p.m.

The Canadian rhythmic gymnastics team, featuring Amanda Sha of St. Albert, was awarded silver in the team all-around event at the recent Junior Pan Am Gymnastics Championships in Havana, Cuba.

The United States finished first and Brazil was third.

The Canadian team, which included Elisabeth Kazakov of Calgary, Maria Kitkarska of Montreal and Kaitlyn James of Toronto, also won gold in the group event. Kitkarska also took bronze in the individual all-around event.

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St. Albert Gazette

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