It was a busy weekend for the SVRSS Tigers Senior Girls’ and Boys’ basketball teams as both approach the end of the season.
On Friday and Saturday (Feb. 24-25) the girls were away in Roblin to attend the Goose Lake High Angels Varsity Girls Basketball Tournament, while the boys hosted the 2017 Kinsmen Tip-Off Tournament at the SVRSS.
Earlier in the week (Feb. 21), the teams also travelled to Dauphin to participate in Game 1 of the Zone 8 playoffs.
The Tigers girls came to the final game of the weekend tournament with a 1-1 record, putting them in the third place finals game where they faced the Roseau Valley Raiders from Dominion City and resulting in a 71-48 win for the Tigers.
“They had a short bench of six players but came out hard with solid pressure and quick fast break type play; something the Tigers have used in their play for the majority of the season as well,” said Girls’ Head Coach Shayne Yaschyshyn. “After the first quarter the score was 21-13 for the Tigers. In the second quarter the Tigers started to score from the outside as well as get opportunities to drive the ball inside, at the half the Tigers were ahead 41–20. The Raiders came out in the third after making some adjustments and played a very well executed game. But, with a score of 56–33 going into the final quarter for the Tigers, they could not catch up.
“We tried some different offensive and defensive setups that we are looking at using in the next zone game and hopefully the inter-zone games,” said Yaschyshyn.
Earlier in the day the Tigers played against the Major Pratt Trojans which resulted in a 54-36 win for the Tigers.
“The Tigers were looking to regain their play and came out strong against the Trojans, and at the end of the first quarter the Tigers were up 18-4,” said Yaschyshyn, noting that this continued into the half. “The Trojans made some adjustments at halftime and came out strong in the third quarter but the Tigers held on while keeping some of their energy and strength for their next game.”
“In their first game on Friday the Tigers were scheduled for a 6:15 p.m. start against the Grandview Spartans but when they arrived at 5 p.m. they were told they would be hitting the court just 15 minutes later.
“After a short 10 minute warm-up and a rushed pre-game preparation, the Tigers came out sluggish and allowed the Grandview Spartans to dominate them in the first quarter,” said Yaschyshyn of the 69-45 loss. “At the end of the first half the score was 34-19 for the Spartans.
“The Tigers had regrouped in the second quarter but the Spartans’ excellent shooting from the field and the foul line kept the Tigers trailing through to the end”
“We finally started playing like we normally do in the fourth, but it was too late by then,” he continued, adding that Grandview has a very strong team.”
Earlier in the week at zones the girls beat the Dauphin Clippers 82-53 in the first game of a best-of-three series to decide who will represent Zone 8 at inter-zones.
“The Tigers were pumped up after the drive to Dauphin for the game and came out a little too aggressive earning a couple of early fouls which allowed Dauphin to take the early lead,” said Yaschyshyn. “As the first quarter progressed the Tigers got control of their emotions and began to execute their type of game play.
“Taking game one in Dauphin takes us one step closer to getting to the AAA Provincials. We need to win Game 2 at the SVRSS today (Feb. 28) so we don’t end up having to go back to Dauphin on March 2.”
Today at 4 p.m. at the SVRSS, the Tigers face the Clippers Game 2 of zones playoffs.
Next weekend (Mar. 3-4) the Tigers will travel to Norquay, Sask. to participate in the Norquay Nikes Varsity Girls Tournament.
And, if the Tigers win the Game 2 match, they will be heading to the inter-zone game in either Neepawa or Brandon on Monday (March 6) for a shot at the MHSAA AAA Basketball Provincials in Winnipeg from March 15-18.
“The schedule for our tournament went through a few changes,” said Boys’ Head Coach Kevin Carter, noting that the eight teams scheduled fell to six early in the week. “Then, unfortunately, we had another team withdraw on the morning of the tournament due to illness affecting a majority of players on that team.”
Adding to the already hectic day, one of the remaining teams arrived an hour and a half late due to bus trouble.
“At the end of the weekend we played a five-team round-robin tournament with ourselves, RD Parker from Thompson, MBCI from The Pas, Otter Nelson River from Cross Lake and Major Pratt from Russell,” said Carter.
The SVRSS Tigers ended the Tournament with a 2-2 record that put them in third place. R.D. Parker won the tournament with perfect 4-0 record, and The Pas earned second with a 3-1 record.
“Our two victories came against Russell and Otter Nelson River in lopsided games,” said Carter. “The two games we looked forward to the most though were against The Pas and Thompson.”
In the final game of the tournament The Tigers played against RD Parker, resulting in an 83-63 loss for the home team.
“With a much better effort and execution in this game, we were able to compete with one of the best teams in the province,” said Carter. “We executed well early and worked hard on defence and found ourselves with a two point lead after the opening quarter.
“RD Parker went on a hot streak from three point land in the second quarter and we found ourselves down 50-33 at the half.
Carter credits his team who were dealing with a short bench but were still able to claw back within seven points a couple of times.
“But, with the consistent attack from Thompson and fatigue setting in we were unable to overcome the deficit,” he said.
The team faced The Pas on Friday evening, resulting in a 78-37 loss for the Tigers.
“We did not perform well and did not provide a good effort to keep us in that game,” said Carter. “We started off well, however, The Pas got their game going and we did not answer back, allowing them to continue to pull away throughout the first half with a 14 point lead.
“We could not muster the effort to change things in the second half and with The Pas continuing to play well they took the game easily.”
Carter expressed his appreciation to the Kinsmen Club of Swan River for sponsoring the tournament as well as for their continued support of the Tiger basketball program.
On Tuesday the boys also traveled to Dauphin for zones, resulting in a close 68-59 loss for the Tigers.
“Dauphin has had success this year and have beaten us in both previous meetings this season,” said Carter.
“I thought our boys played a good game defensively. They held Dauphin's main scoring threat to 15 points and gave us a chance to stay in the game.
“We found ourselves down by as many as 12 in the third quarter, but fought back to stay close in the game,” he continued. “Each time we were able to make a run to cut the lead to two or three, we relaxed a bit and gave up scores allowing the deficit to stretch.”
The loss puts the team down one with a chance at redemption today.
“We are hoping to take the experiences of this past weekend into our game today and force a third and deciding game in Dauphin on Thursday (March 2),” concluded Carter.
The Tigers host Game 2 of three of the zone playoffs against Dauphin at the SVRSS.
If the Tigers beat Dauphin in the three game series then they will play against Neelin for a provincial spot.
The team we will also be travelling to Yorkton, Sask. March 3 and 4 for a round-robin tournament that will end their tournament schedule for the season.