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March madness, Morinville style, as Wolves capture three SAPEC titles

Basketball teams bounce through zones with a trio of wins
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A lot of hard work and hustle went into the Tier 1 championship for the Morinville junior boys team. They took the SAPEC trophy after besting Lorne Akins in a tight match. KENT LESSARD/Supplied

There's a lot of cheering in the halls these days as three Morinville Community High School Wolves basketball teams reigned supreme during their respective St. Albert Physical Education Council (SAPEC) finals on the weekend of March 11. 

The junior boys team took a hotly contested match against Lorne Akins, besting them by a score of 40-34. Meanwhile, the senior boys enjoyed a 64-43 cakewalk over the R.F. Staples team from Westlock, and the senior girls team completed the Morinville hat trick with a first-place finish of their own. They eked out a two-point win, also over R.F. Staples, 60-58.

Kent Lessard, athletic director and senior girls coach, said that 2022 has shown that despite the quiet courts of the last two years, Morinville's basketball teams are well past merely stretching their legs when it comes to competition play. They're just getting back into the flow of things, he said, but the trophy is an even bigger win for the junior boys.

"It's the first time our junior high boys have ever won SAPEC. They've been in the finals before but they've never won SAPEC. We’re quite proud of them for that," he said.

"Our senior boys… they've done well at the senior level. They're always one of the top teams in the central zone and they had another good season."

The junior boys' win over Lorne Akins was "a tough, close game," he added, noting the six-point lead at the buzzer.

"It was quite an exciting game. The senior boys... they didn't have any close games at zones: they kind of walked through zones pretty easy. They beat Westlock in the final by over 20."

The win has special meaning for coach Cliff Rowein. It's his last year coaching, so to retire on such a high note is perfect.

"It was a good way for him to culminate his career coaching at MCHS. He’s spent a lot of years and dedicated a lot of hours to the students of Morinville. We're greatly appreciative of that."