By Greg Price
The St. Mary’s Celtics boys basketball team learned plenty of lessons from its tournament run at Clearwater Academy/Masters Academy this past weekend in Calgary.
“It was a really good tournament for us, in the aspect that we had some very competitive, close games. With the exception of the third game, the kids responded really well. It was a good learning situation for them,” said Ken Gabruck, head coach of the St. Mary’s Celtics boys basketball team.
The Celtics recorded a 1-2 record in the tournament, starting off with a tight 73-70 loss to Notre Dame.
“We had a four-point lead with under two minutes to go, and they put some pressure on us and just too many turnovers,” said Gabruck. “They scored a three on us with eight seconds left in the game to win it. We got a shot away at the end, but it was unsuccessful. The game could have gone either way, where all we needed to do was score in the last minute, but we didn’t.”
The Celtics had another tough tight game in its consolation side of the tournament, but this time came out ahead in a 78-76 win over Masters Academy.
“It was close all the way through and they went ahead by three with about 30 seconds left in the game. We tied it up with six seconds left with a three. They called a time-out and turned over the ball and we scored with .5 seconds left,” said Gabruck on the dramatic last minute of the game. “After those two games, the kids had a good feeling about themselves and there was a lot more confidence in each other. One went in our favour and the other didn’t.”
Unfortunately, the Celtics ended its tournament on a tough note in the consolation final, losing 71-39 to Senator Gershaw from Bow Island.
“It was close in the first quarter and then they took it to us pretty good. We threw the towel in early, having a tough time matching up with them. They are big and they took it to us on the boards,” said Gabruck. “They played a zone on us and we had to shoot over taller guys, and we couldn’t hit anything from the outside.”
The Celtics had a junior varsity game in Bow Island on Tuesday night with results unavailable at press time. The Celtics host the Vauxhall Vikings today at 6 p.m. in River Ridge Basketball League competition.
“There has definitely been improvements in some aspects of our game. But, I’m still disappointed with our ability to play defence, that’s our biggest weakness right now,” said Gabruck. “We have an inability to rebound and our help-side defence is one of our weakest points that we have to work on in our next two weeks. The kids have to work on their inconsistency depending on who is on the court. We play one good quarter, make some substitutions and we fall out of sync. The players have to have more confidence in each other and trust each other.”