The Paul Kane Blues and St. Albert Skyhawks cracked the top-10 rankings in 4A provincial high school women’s basketball.
The Blues are No. 2 and the Skyhawks are No. 9 in the Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association’s first rankings of the season.
The Jasper Place Rebels are No. 1 and the defending 4A provincial champions are 2-1 against the Blues in three tournament finals. The teams have a metro Edmonton division one match on tap Feb. 14 at 6:30 p.m. at Paul Kane.
The Rebels, Blues and Skyhawks are the only metro Edmonton teams in the top 10 and the division one Leduc Tigers and Archbishop MacDonald Marauders are among five 4A honourable mentions.
This is the fifth 4A season for the Skyhawks, last year’s provincial consolation winners, after a historic run of four consecutive 3A championships.
The Rebels, Blues and Skyhawks are 5-0 in league play at the exam break. The Marauders are 5-1 and Leduc is 4-1.
The division one schedule resumes Wednesday with the Skyhawks visiting the Marauders at 5 p.m. and the Blues are in Sherwood Park to play the Salisbury Sabres (5-1) at 6:30 p.m.
The Skyhawks and Blues cross paths Feb. 12 at 5 p.m. at the SkyDome.
Meanwhile, the 3A rankings list the division two Sturgeon Spirits (5-0) fourth as the second highest-ranked metro Edmonton women’s team and the Morinville Wolves are seventh.
The Wolves are also a 3A men’s honourable mention.
The next provincial rankings will be released Feb. 16.
A trio of St. Albert high school football players are among 116 in the province advancing to the next stage in the selection of the Football Alberta U18 and U17 teams.
Receiver Travis Heggart and linebacker Bronson Wilke of the division one Carr conference Bellerose Bulldogs and defensive back Jackson Ganton of the division two Miles conference St. Albert High Skyhawks will progress into the winter training camps at the Foote Dome in February and March before the rosters will be finalized at the April 20 to 22 tryouts at McMahon Stadium in Calgary.
The 40-man U18 team will compete in the Football Canada Cup nationals in July at Calgary and the 40-man U17 team heads to the Pacific Challenge in August on Maui and will feature U17 Team Saskatchewan and Hawaiian high school teams.
The recent Super Weekend camp hosted by Football Alberta at Foote Field featured close to 400 players with more than 40 coaches running the show and 100 were handpicked for the Calgary selection camp.
Joining the top 100 are 16 players from U16 Team Canada West that participated in last week’s International Bowl in Texas. The lineup included Ganton and Kolby Hurford, a receiver with the Salisbury Sabres who is also a Team Alberta hopeful. Both players are graduates of the 2016 senior varsity bantam St. Albert Palmer 49ers.
Ganton and Heggart were also 2017 Metro Athletics All-Edmonton All-Stars in their respective divisions.
The St. Albert Merchants have five games remaining before the playoffs to steer the ship back on course after losing three in a row in the Capital Junior B Hockey League.
Sunday the Merchants (17-15-1) face-off against the Stony Plain Flyers (14-17-3) at 8 p.m. at Akinsdale Arena. The home record for The Blue Guys is 7-9-1.
The fourth-place Merchants are four points in front of the Flyers with a game in hand as the top six teams in the west division qualify for the playoffs.
Tuesday the Merchants play the host Sherwood Park Knights (14-16-3) at 8:30 p.m.
The last game for the Merchants was Tuesday’s 6-3 road loss against the Beaumont Chiefs (23-9-3).
The Chiefs posted period leads of 3-1 after the first and 5-2 entering the third while out-shooting the Merchants 49-22 as Ethan Crotty (10-10, 3.92 GAA) went the distance between the pipes.
Goal scorers were Brenden Passek in the first, Sam Milner (power play) in the second and Jack Langenhahn with 1:15 to play.
The regular season wraps up Feb. 6 against the Morinville Jets (22-10-2) at 8:30 p.m. at Ray McDonald Sports Centre.