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Fighting for Provincial Positions

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The season is rapidly coming to a close for the SVRSS Tigers Junior Girls’ and Boys’ Basketball teams, who have both been finding plenty of success on the courts.
Both teams faced their respective Dauphin Clippers teams on Wednesday (Feb. 14) in zones at home in the SVRSS, the first game in a best-of-three series.
Girls
The junior girls put on a clinic in Game 1 of zones against Dauphin. Combining a solid defence and offence, the Tigers came away with a 58-16 win.
“We slowly kept building our lead,” said Head Coach Lise Fraser. “We didn’t have a big lead in the first quarter, with a score of 13-4.
“I told the girls at the end of the second quarter to deny them baskets and work at doubling our score. It was 28-6 at the half and we ended up with 58 points. So, they met their goal.”
Fraser added that when the Tigers have met the Clippers prior, the Clippers were able to manage 20 points, so the goal for the team was to concentrate on playing good defence, but continue to work on offence.
“Playing really good defence is going to help us, even in the playoffs,” said Fraser. “We were impressed with the girls. They rebounded really well.”
Lauren Klatt, Brenna Schure, and Adria Bateman were big performers when it came to picking up the rebounds.
“Everyone else contributed as well, but when you have those three pulling down almost 25 rebounds, that’s a really strong defensive unit out there,” said Fraser. “Our press caused a lot of turnovers for Dauphin, which we were able to utilize and put in a lot of layups.”
Fraser added that Bateman and Ireland Staples were major contributors to sinking baskets, but a few other major offensive players were not far behind in putting points on the board, resulting in a deep offence that was hard to defend against.
“If you only have one scorer, you can double team that person, but when you have an entire team approach to scoring, then it’s difficult for teams to shut us down,” said Fraser.
After taking a day off, the Tigers took on a big challenge over the weekend by joining in a AAAA tournament at Crocus Plains Regional Secondary School in Brandon. Fraser added that the tournament was expected to be a good experience and a good challenge to play against schools that have more than double the student population and double the talent pool to choose from.
Results were not available at press time.
Boys
The junior boys are in full playoff mode and ready to battle their way toward their provincial goal.
“These are the games now where either your season is over or it continues,” said Head Coach Jody Williams.
The boys started the series by defeating the Dauphin Clippers by a score of 58-41.
“To win game one is pretty encouraging,” said Williams.
“We had a player that suffered a season ending injury, which required medical treatment in the game. It was a play that the player has done many times before and unfortunately, this particular time, it ended up being an injury. His teammates will rally around and finish off the season with it in mind.”
The junior boys have had an impressive season competing in tournaments in Brandon, Dauphin, The Pas, Portage and hope to continue to play all the way into provincials.
“It’s been a good season for us,” said Williams. “We’ve been progressively getting better. I think this is the time that we’re ready to go through the playoffs. I’m really happy with where we are, now it’s one game at a time.”
With seven Grade 10 players and four Grade 9 players, the junior team has seen a lot of strength in their season.
“We’re pretty experienced because of our play last year,” said Williams. “As a result, our season is a little more competitive.”
Included in their competitive play is the Portage Junior Varsity Invitational Tournament that they participated in last weekend (Feb. 16 and 17).
The team finished in third place of the tournament by defeating Morden 80-52 in the final, suffering a loss to Neelin by a score of 65-58 in the semifinal and putting up a large victory against Morris, 71-24.
“Overall the weekend was good for us,” said Williams. “Everyone contributed, everyone was scoring.”
Tye Spence was recognized for his impeccable tournament play with an all star award.

Upcoming
The Girls’ and Boys’ teams will meet the Clippers again on the court in Dauphin today for Game 2 of zones.
If either SVRSS team wins, they will move on to a four-team interzone tournament to fight for a spot on in Provincials.
If Game 2 results in a loss, Game 3 will bring Dauphin back to the SVRSS on Thursday (Feb. 22).

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Jeremy Bergen
REPORTER
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