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Basketball boys jockey for position in Metro Edmonton Athletics league

After battling through a tough December schedule, St. Albert’s senior boys basketball teams are recharged and refocused for what is likely to be an equally competitive second half.
Basketball
(stock photo)

As the homestretch of the high school basketball season approaches, St. Albert’s top teams continue to push through adversity.

After battling through a tough December schedule, St. Albert’s senior boys basketball teams are recharged and refocused for what is likely to be an equally competitive second half. With playoffs getting started in just over a month, the pressure to tally up wins has never been higher.

Paul Kane

The Paul Kane Blues, competitors in the Metro league’s top division, boast an impressive 4-2 record, winning their first two games of the calendar year against Edmonton Christian (72-61) and J Percy Page (85-66).

As Head Coach and Paul Kane alumni Evan Eger points out, the group is returning to stride after losing their final two games of 2022 and playing through an unforgivingly packed schedule.

“We have had an up and down start to the season, but overall we are pleased with the progress we've made and continue to improve every day. Our schedule to start the year with play in games, tournaments, and being scheduled four road games before the Christmas break was a large challenge for our team.”

While confronting the demands of a hard road campaign, the Blues simultaneously went up against some of the top teams in Edmonton.

“In my opinion, we got the short end of the stick regarding our schedule this season. During the four league games on the road, our guys fought hard through sickness and injuries, but we unfortunately dropped the last two games before the break against tough opponents in Leduc and Holy Trinity. Considering these teams only had three league games in December, two of which were at home, this put us at a disadvantage from the tip.”

Still, Eger and his squad are focused and optimistic about the second half of the season. 

“We came out refreshed after the Christmas break,” said Eger, confident his group has what it takes to make a deep postseason push. “Like most teams, we have our sights set on an extended run in the playoffs. We believe we are one of the best teams in the city, and we look forward to proving that to the league in February and March.”  

“Paul Kane men's basketball has been overlooked for many years and with the talent we have at this school we are excited to earn back that respect.”

SACHS

Competing in the Metro Athletic’s fourth division, the St. Albert Catholic High School Skyhawks are also 4-2, trailing only Edmonton Islamic and Sturgeon in this season’s standings.

As a younger team made up primarily of students in grades 10 and 11, and only three returning players from last year’s team, Head Coach Doug Ducharme notes that gaining experience during gameplay is one of the squad’s top priorities.

“Our group has improved significantly since the beginning of the year. We started off slowly losing some close games and were relegated to Division 4. However, playing in this division has given us the opportunity to work on fundamentals and really grow together as a team. Every game we've played has been competitive.”

As playoffs draw near, Ducharme is optimistic that his Skyhawks will be able to execute a strong playoff run and go the distance.

“I expect us to be in the playoffs and compete for a chance to win the division. We have a great group of young men that are learning how to be successful as a group, and I look forward to putting it all on the line.
 

Bellerose Composite

The Bellerose Bulldogs, currently 0-6, are off to a tough start this season, having been edged out by a series of strong Division 2 teams — most recently in a 77-108 loss to Fort Saskatchewan last Wednesday.

At the start of February, the Bulldogs will have their next shot to string together some wins — first against Lillian Osborne on February 1st, and then against M.E. LaZerte on the 6th.

The Metro Edmonton High School Athletics’ comprehensive standings, schedule and results can be found on their website.