By Greg Price
The win streak has come to an end for the W.R. Myers Rebels varsity girls basketball team, but with it, perhaps an even more focused view to March with how nothing will be handed to the team as its pursues a 3A provincial title.
The team suffered its first loss of the season in a 70-66 road contest to Winston Churchill Griffins as the top two-ranked 3A teams in the province battled. Down 51-39 after the third quarter, the Rebels almost won.
“Winston is a solid team with a lot of returning players. They have good guards and some strong and tall forwards,” said Kenney Wood, head coach of the W.R. Myers Rebels varsity girls basketball team. “We mounted a great come back in the fourth quarter and tied it up with about one-and-a-half minutes to go, but just could not get it done.”
“We got into a bit of foul trouble and had a difficult time keeping them off the boards. We gave them multiple attempts to score.”
Hayley Lepard led the Rebels with 14 points while grabbing nine rebounds. Natalie Hoyt and Katessa Gross both had 13 points to go with six steals. Millay Johnson rounded out the double-digit scorers with 11 points. Paige Wood grabbed six rebounds.
The tough-luck losses continued on Friday night on the road with a tight 60-59 loss to Catholic Central Cougars.
“It was a very physical game from start to finish. They had a 6’1 girl that played very physical and used all of her five fouls. I don’t think she played more than five minutes, but she definitely knew how to foul. We had a few girls hit the floor pretty hard,” said Wood. “We again got into foul trouble. As physical as Winston was, they were more. We really had a difficult time limiting their shots. They too got multiple chances to score and when you give a team that, it’s hard to win.”
The Rebels learned a life lesson in that the little things can become magnified in tight games, as W.R. Myers struggled form the charity stripe.
“We struggled at the foul line. Marty, Brandon and I had spoken all season about the importance of these “free points,” and that one game in the future we’d lose by one knowing that we left a lot of points on the charity stripe. We saw that game happen on Friday.”
Gross poured in 20 points to go with five rebounds. Hoyt combined 12 points to go with six rebounds. Lepard chipped in 10 points. Paige Wood grabbed double-digit boards with a 11 rebounds.
“Losses are never fun, but we had learned a lot in our two losses which were by a combined five points,” said Wood. “These close games are what we need to get better. The girls are learning that one mistake could be the difference between a win or a loss. We are still ranked first in the province in 3A girls, our teams goals are still very much achievable.”
W.R. Myers Rebels girls concluded its busy week of Southern Alberta High School Girls Basketball League competition with a 72-60 win over Cardston Cougars at home on Saturday afternoon.
Gross netted 20 points for the Rebels with Johnson and Hoyt both hitting for 14 points. Lepard had the double double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
“It’s been a while since the Rebels have beaten the Cougars. Defensively we played very well,” said Wood as the Rebels have enjoyed a 19-2 record to date. “Cardston is a very solid team, great shooters and very fundamentally sound, so it was difficult to get anything really easy offensively. We both play very similar games. It was a very exciting game for the girls to be involved in. We continue to have great fan support which makes for a fantastic atmosphere.”
The team is off to a tournament at Hunting Hills High School in Red Deer this weekend.