By Greg Price
Mother Nature has been playing havoc with the St. Mary’s Celtics boys basketball team, but the team has been able to get back on track heading into River Ridge Basketball League playoffs action.
The Celtics are hosting league playoffs with the Celtics battling the Vauxhall Vikings today at 6 p.m. with Senator Gershaw taking on Foremost at 7:45 p.m. Thursday’s slate is 6 p.m. for the third-place game with 8 p.m. being the league championship.
“The bad weather there for two weeks really hurt us not getting in any practice time. But over the week off (Family Week), we practised every day. We got five good practices in that week and we will go (Monday) and have a practice at the (Lethbridge) college (Tuesday),” said Ken Gabruck, head coach of the St. Mary’s Celtics boys basketball team. “We have had plenty of time to go over some of the changes we wanted to make in our offence especially.”
Zones for the St. Mary’s Celtics start on March 5 at Lethbridge College. Although schedules have not been finalized as of press time, the Celtics first 1A zone game will likely be March 7 at the earliest.
Getting a feel for the Lethbridge College gym before hand, which is quite different than smaller rural school gyms, should help the Celtics in its quest for the South Zone banner in 1A.
“Your shooting background is completely different. You don’t have a wall right close to your backboard like in most gyms. The court is also a little bit longer and wider and so conditioning will be a factor there,” said Gabruck. “I think with our practices, we are not as predictable as we were before offensively. We’ve changed the focus a little bit, we were going inside a little bit too quick and often before and teams were preparing for it. Defensively, we had a stretch there where we didn’t play as well, where I felt our pressure defence was very minimal. We didn’t force a lot of turnovers and we didn’t tire teams out, and hopefully we have corrected that.”