By Greg Price
Coming down the home stretch of the regular season heading into zones, the W.R. Myers Rebels varsity girls basketball team can say they have been battle tested in the final week.
The Rebels split its pair of games this past weekend, starting off with a 78-69 loss to Raymond Comets.
Raymond’s pressure was able to get to the Rebels who knew they were going to be in tough in the hostile environment on the road.
“Playing Raymond is always exciting. Playing Raymond in Raymond is even more exciting. We get pumped up for these games and hope to come out strong and this is what we did,” said Brandon Bullock, assistant coach of the W.R. Myers Rebels varsity girls basketball team. “The first quarter saw us with a quick lead. We knew Raymond would fight back and that is how the rest of the game went. Protecting the ball and preventing turnovers is always a challenge as Raymond gives you lots of ball pressure and never lacks in the area of aggression.”
The game was tied after three quarters, but the Comets hit a couple of threes and converted on foul shots near the end of the game which the Rebels could not recover from.
Kitawna Sparks led the team with 21 points and hauled in 10 rebounds, with Millay Johnson pouring in 18. Genna Wright added 11 points.
“This is not the outcome we were going for, and as a result of the loss, the girls were visibly upset. This goes to show our players are not only physically engaged in the game but emotionally as well. We are recognizing things we can improve on,” said Bullock.
The Rebels were able to bounce back with an impressive 84-65 win over Cardston Cougars on the road on Saturday, dominating in the second half after trailing by 12 points at half-time.
“We came out very slow in this game. I think the team was still thinking about the loss to Raymond. Defensively we were not making stops and letting Cardston get open looks which they were knocking in,” said Kenney Wood, head coach of the W.R. Myers Rebels varsity girls basketball team. “Offensively we were not moving, it seemed like we were just waiting for something to happen, but nothing was happening.”
Things were definitely happening offensively for the Rebels in the third quarter as they went off for 39 points to power themselves to figure in a strong finish.
“At half-time we had a good chat and the team refocused on our goals which is winning zones and winning provincials. We challenged them to play with intensity in the third quarter,” said Wood, adding they very much did. “We came out and shocked the Cougar players, the Cougar coaches and the Cougars fans, Heck I think we even shocked ourselves. Five minutes into the third quarter, the Cougars coached called a time out. We put up 39 points in the third quarter. I’ve coached for a long time both boys and girls, and you just don’t see 39 points very often. It was truly an amazing push for the lead which we never relinquished.”
Johnson scorched the Cougars for 27 points with Sparks adding 17. Natalie Hoyt added 16 and Wright hit for 13 points.
“With these last two games, Raymond and Cardston, we had to play extremely hard. Both gyms are very difficult to win in, both teams are very well coached and never give up. We told the girls games like these are the games we want. They make our team show what we are made of,” said Wood.
“We are excited about our game on Friday against LCI. It will be another game which we will have to play well and not make too many mistakes. These last few league games have really prepared us for battle. We are ready for zones. The team knows that the championship is ours if we continue to work hard. We have all the pieces we need, and everyone is contributing. We told them that we are going to let the horses run, no more being nice, no more holding back, this will be a fun and exciting couple of weeks.”
The team competes in 3A south zone competition in Medicine Hat at McCoy March 6-11.