By Ryan McCracken on March 18, 2017.
Monsignor McCoy’s girls basketball team is in yet another provincial final.
But this one’s at home.
The Colts walloped the Wetaskiwin Sabres 61-28 in a 3A semifinal Friday at the Family Leisure Centre, setting up a rematch of last year’s final won by Taber’s WR Myers.
“It’s always been ‘we want to play Taber in the provincial final… and walk away with the gold medal,'” said the Colts’ Emilee Jackson, who had eight points in the semifinal following six in a 64-46 quarter-final win over Strathmore earlier in the day. “It’s exhilirating.”
Katelyn Rozdeba had 13 points against Wetaskiwin, which countered with nine from Megan Hebert.
It was never close, 19-6 after one quarter and 33-11 at the half.
“We were out of gas, and that showed,” said Wetaskiwin coach Lana Ilg. “But they’re a good team.”
McCoy was supposed to have a new gym for these provincials as part of modernization that now won’t be done until later this year. They played twice at the renovated Leisure Centre, and move to Crescent Heights for Saturday’s 4 p.m. final.
Myers beat Bowness 76-54, then Magrath 61-45 in the other semifinal, with Lauren Steed scoring 12 of her 14 points in the first half for the Rebels.
Lauren Payne caught fire late for Magrath, winding up with a game-high 19, but they couldn’t make up a 36-20 halftime deficit.
Unlike last year when a young Colts side was a surprise finalist, this time they only fell by three to the Rebels in last Saturday’s zone final — at McCoy.
For a team that’s been second at provincials at least four times in the past decade, it’s another chance to get over the hump.
“It’s been a lot of work, and it’s weird doing it at home and not playing in our own gym,” said Colts coach Janice Laing, whose side has been ranked No. 2 all year, right behind Myers. “This team has battled hard all year. At the end of the final last year the kids that were coming back decided they were getting back to that final.”
Despite many silver medals in their schools’ past, however, Jackson feels the pressure isn’t on them.
“They’re the No. 1-ranked team, they beat us in zones,” she said. “We just have to go out and play our game.”
McCoy’s boys suffered another heartbreaker Friday, falling 68-67 to St. Albert a day after a one-point loss to Morinville. They’ll finish up against Holy Rosary out of Lloydminster, 10 a.m. at Crescent Heights.
Camrose beat Brooks 92-71 and St. Peter the Apostle beat George McDougall 92-64 to advance to the boys’ 6 p.m. final.
At Lethbridge, Hat High’s girls will play for fifth in the 4A championships Saturday after a win and a loss Friday.
The Kwahommies fell 77-64 to top-ranked LCI in a morning quarter-final, ending any medal hopes, but came back to beat Raymond 79-73 in a consolaton side matchup.
See Kwahommies,Page A10
“As long as we finish knowing we tried our hardest, that’s all you can ask for,” said Grade 12 forward Kaesha Milne, who noted the first quarter in each game was basically the difference. “We came out strong (against Raymond) which was nice, that’s where our downfall was in the morning.”
Milne had 17 points and nine rebounds in the nightcap, while Rhiannon Ware had 22 points and Kayla Stegan 11.
Ware’s 18 points, 12 rebounds and five steals paced the team against LCI.
It was the end of the line for the Hat High boys Friday, losing first to the top seed, then in a consolation match to see their time at 4A provincials end.
“It’s emotional, I can’t believe it’s all over,” said Grade 12 guard Anfernee Houmphanh following an 86-68 loss to Magrath in Lethbridge. “We just ran out of gas.”
Houmphanh had 11 while Darin Parker finished with 17, most of those coming after he broke his nose in the second half. Hat High got to within three in the fourth quarter before fading.
Earlier in the day Parker had 22 and Matt Manas 14 in an 83-68 loss to St. Francis Xavier, the No. 1 seed.
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