|Rebels girls take home title|
|Local Content - Local Sports|
|Written by Greg Price|
|Wednesday, 06 February 2013 18:45|
The Rebel Classic proved to be the shot in the arm the W.R. Myers Rebels varsity girls basketball team needed with a championship title on Saturday.
“We had a lot of I don’t know what you’d call it, negative energy or whatever. We had been struggling, the ball hasn’t been going in and it was good to see the whole group play well at once,” said Ken Bennett, head coach of the W.R. Myers Rebels varsity girls basketball team.
What was doubly satisfying about the home tournament title was the Rebels were able to avenge an earlier lopsided Southern Alberta High School Girls Basketball League loss to the Kate Andrews Pride with a 56-43 victory against the same team in the final.
“They had beat on us pretty good in league a couple of weeks ago so we were excited to play them again,” said Bennett.
That excitement started right from the get go as the Rebels raced out on a 10-0 run to start the game thanks to two treys by Courtney Moser.
“That really got us going and set the tone for the game. When you see that ball go in the basket it helps,” said Bennett.
Up 15-6 after the first quarter, the Rebels kept the pressure on and were up 34-18 at half-time on the way to victory.
“We had a lot of people contribute in that game and that’s what we need,” said Bennett.
Kelsie Wood capped a consistent performance in her Rebel Classic run with 18 points and six rebounds on the way to earning tournament MVP. Moser hit for four three-pointers in her 14 points to go with two steals. Bennett noted Kelly Hansen played her best basketball of the year at the Rebel Classic, earning her a tournament all-star and a line of eight points and three assists in the championship. Gabby Bertoia cleaned up on the boards with eight rebounds to go with her seven points.
“They are a team we are going to be going against in zones, so it was a big win that way because it goes on your resume for zone seating,” said Bennett. “The one thing the girls have been able to do is bounce back from an opponent they have played before that they lost to, and taking away what their strengths are and adapting, executing the game plan better. Medicine Hat had beaten us in a tournament and we came back and beat them too. Credit goes to the players, they came out and a lot of them played well. To win you have to have contributions from any number of players, more than one or two.”
Rebels girls started its tournament run against Ponoka, with the Rebels being too sluggish out of the gate, trailing 15-14 after one quarter.
“We weren’t too concerned at that point because the other team had made some tough shots and we were just the opposite, missing some easy shots,” said Bennett, adding that trend was quickly reversed with a 24-point outburst in the second quarter in which the Rebels never looked back on the way to victory.
“Once the ball starts going in, the energy level continues to go up. We took off from there and started playing really well,” said Bennett.
Wood poured in 18 points and Hansen had 14 points. Moser chipped in nine points by being perfect from beyond the arc on three-for-three shooting to go with a season-high eight assists. Bertoia’s line included eight points, five steals and three assists. Mackenzie Bullock had eight points as well.
“We had a lot of contributions that game and our Player of the Game that game was Jennifer Krizsan with five steals. She worked really hard with a lot of heart and set the energy level for us,” said Bennett. “There’s more to basketball than scoring.”
W.R. Myers Rebels varsity girls basketball team reached the championship by dispatching St. Paul 66-41 in the semifinal.
“St. Paul was at provincials last year. They play up north and it’s not as strong of competition, but they scored 75 points on Sturgeon,” said Bennett. “We knew they must be aggressive pressing to get that many points, usually it’s off of steals and getting to the basket getting easy shots.”
Being an aggressive team off the dribble and attacking the basket, St. Paul was able to get to the free-throw line with some regularity to give the Rebels some troubles early.
“We had to make some adjustments with our zone and play back off of them because they weren’t shooting outside, so we made sure to stay in front of them,” said Bennett. “They didn’t score too much after that.”
Sam Terry had 16 points, three assists and two steals. Wood also had 16 points. Hansen chipped in 11 points and four assists.
The Rebels Classic made for a positive experience all the way around as the varsity girls basketball team makes its push to March.
“We want to express all our appreciation to tall the fans that came out along with the parents and the organizers. There was so much energy in the gym,” said Bennett. “It’s our home tournament so we are prejudiced, but some of the teams come here to play just because they want their kids to know what it’s liked to played infront of a packed gym with a lot of fan support. The Calgary schools hardly get any fans out at all so it’s a novel thing for them.”
Rebels girls travel to Kainai today in league play before heading off to a tournament in Magrath over the weekend as Bennett assures his team will not rest on its laurels with the Rebel Classic title.
“We’re always looking to keep improving. Just because we won doesn’t mean we did everything really well. We improved in a lot of areas, but we still turned over the ball more than we need to and we can still execute better,” said Bennett.