Marquise and Nobles claim back-to-back SPAA banners
Glendon School reigned victorious as hosts of the 2014 SPAA basketball finals, as the Nobles defeated the Ashmont boys Falcons 79-68, and the Marquise dropped the girls Falcons 75-44, claiming back-to-back banners for both teams.
“I think that’s the best Ashmont has played us all year,” said Nobles Coach Daryn Galatiuk. “That’s the third time we’ve played them and wow, they played us tough tonight, and missing a couple key guys on defence kept things closer than I would have liked . . . We just have to find a bit more consistency before we head to provincials.”
Ashmont Falcons coach Tim Yakiwchuk said he was proud in the effort shown from his team, as if it weren’t for a few turnovers and missed shots, it could have been a different game.
“We’ve gotten better over the season, we’ve improved somewhat, I just wish we could have made a few more buckets down the stretch,” he said. “I was really proud they didn’t give up and they didn’t let up. They didn’t let it get ugly.”
Glendon Noble Colten Zentner agreed it was a hard fought final, and claiming back-to-back banners took a great deal of effort from everyone on the team.
“We worked pretty hard last year to win against the same team and worked really hard this year,” he said. “Both teams progressed and we played very hard tonight.”
The Nobles started out slow, allowing the Falcons to jump to an early lead, but two key three-point shots from Kohl McOuat and Jayden Foley late in the first quarter provided Glendon a lead they never gave up.
“Hitting big shots in the final seconds of quarters is a momentum swinger and I think that really helped us in the end. We couldn’t find our groove, and sinking those two shots really gave us a good boost,” said Galatiuk. “Just a little cushion is all we needed to go.”
The Nobles will host provincials in Glendon, March 20-22, for the first time since 2007, and Zenter said he is excited to host Alberta’s best and battle for provincial glory.
“That’s huge. Especially for my last year, to have something this big come to us, it’s probably going to be one of the biggest highlights in my high school sports career,” he said, adding it will take a bit more “fine tuning” to find success at provincials. “We still have some areas, like our press break, that we’re still a little iffy with, but other than that we’re pretty solid.”
Galatiuk added the Nobles love playing in the Glendon School gym in front of home fans, and he feels it could play an advantage at provincials.
“The kids love this gymnasium,” said Galatiuk. “I think that’s a really big key for us, to have that home court advantage.”
On the girls side, the Glendon Marquise confidently took down the Ashmont Falcons for a 75-44 banner victory.
“These girls are diggers. They love the game of basketball,” said Maquise Coach Gordon Lotsberg. “The majority of our team played ball through the summer and they just have that passion and that drive.”
Lotsberg added he believes the prolonged success of the team is a combination of dedication from students and the work of Coach Sandra Lysy, who coaches both the junior and senior teams.
“I believe that it’s 100 per cent to do with the kids, but the program is very consistent from Grade 7 to Grade 12, being that they have the same coach,” he said.
Marquise Paige Skyrpichayko said the fact that she has played with her teammates for so long is a key factor in their current successes.
“Everybody’s played together forever,” she said. “When we were in junior high we were pretty good and we’ve played together throughout.”
Lysy said she loves her role as coach of Marquise, because the girls play a complete team game.
“You can even hear it when the bench goes in and the starters are encouraging the bench,” said Lysy. “They’re just a great bunch of girls. They practice hard and they play hard.”
The Glendon Marquise hosted zones over the weekend, for full coverage see next week’s issue of the Journal.
“We’re ranked first going in and we’re hosting it at home, so I think if we all play well we have a pretty good shot,” said Skyrpichayko.
Visit www.spjournal.com for photos from SPAA finals.