Fresh off the heels of a lopsided loss against 4A powerhouse Raymond Comets, the W.R. Myers Rebels varsity girls basketball team reeled off four straight wins including the tournament title at Sturgeon Composite title this past weekend.
“It was wonderful. I told them after that Comet game that we are a better team than we showed that night. Although Raymond is a very good team, we would play better and we truly showed that over the next four games,” said Kenney Wood, head coach of the W.R. Myers Rebels varsity girls basketball team.
Rebels started its tournament run with an 85-31 win over Lloydminster Composite. Katessa Gross led the Rebels with 22 points. Kelly Hansen had a hot hand in 7-for-8 shooting with 16 points. Nina Gansner had the double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds.
Sam Terry had 14 points and Caroline Steinborn chipped in 12.
Rebels’ semifinal was an 80-48 win over Archbishop McDonald.
Gross netted 20 points and Steinborn had 19. Terry and Sadie Lund both chipped in 10 points with Lund also hauling in 14 rebounds for the double-double.
The championship saw the Rebels double up Louis St. Laurent 65-30. Gross and Gansner both had 10 points apiece.
“All the teams we played were in 3A provincially so it was a very good tournament for us as it gave us a good comparison to teams up north that we would not get to see normally,” said Wood. “I told the team that we expected them to perform at a high level from the tip off and they did. In all three games the other teams had difficulty with our pressure that we applied. We are using two different trapping zone defenses that the girls really are getting quite good at. We don’t think these teams were ready for the type of intensity that the girls brought and it showed. In each game we were able to get off to great starts due to the defensive pressure we applied.”
Hayley LePard averaged seven steals a game in the tournament including 12 in one game according to Wood. Paige Wood and Taylor Moser played solid defence, causing many turnovers and dove for many loose balls as part of their aggressiveness. Senior guards Sam Terry and Kelly Hansen took care of the ball at the point, only turning over the ball 13 times between the both of them for the duration of the three games in the tournament.
“With the team we have, when I substitute, the girls coming in are not weaker. They are stronger because they haven’t been playing for the last three or four minutes, coming in with fresh legs and applying that pressure with our defence,” said Wood. “They are all playing similar minutes. It’s great that we can win our first tourney of the year, but we still have lots of things to work on. We need to become the smartest team on the floor, we are very athletic and intense but we need to play smart. We are getting better but it will take time.”
Katessa Gross was selected as team MVP.
“Tess stepped up her game quite a bit over the weekend. For a Grade 10 girl she is showing how hard she is working, shooting some more at practice, putting the time in, going to camps where it’s paying off,” said Wood. “It’s nice to see her hard work is paying off.”
In the Rebels’ 65-54 home league win over Catholic Central Cougars last Tuesday, the Rebels started off sluggish but stayed the course to gut out the win.
“It was a nice win. We weren’t in control the whole time, but we were in the game the whole way where we kept playing our defence and scored some points when we needed to,” said Wood. “I called a few times out and we got more comfortable. The girls stuck with it and by mid-third quarter Catholic Central was beginning to scramble and get really nervous making some mistakes where we gained control where that continued on with the tournament.”
Hansen and Gansner both had 10 points in the win over Catholic Central as Terry and Steinborn both had nine points apiece.
The team played Magrath Pandas on the road on Tuesday with results unavailable at press time. The team battles Chinook today on the road before taking off for a tournament at Kate Andrews.