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Tigers capture first place spot

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The SVRSS Senior Girls basketball team took to the road this weekend (Dec. 8 and 9) with a goal of making it to the championship final and exceeded it by bringing the title home.
The championship final was set against the Crocus Plains Plainsmen and the Tigers could not have been happier to try and avenge the previous two losses to them last year.
After some leisurely shopping and a visit with Santa Claus who let the girls know that the Plainsmen were on the ‘Naughty List’ - the Tigers were pumped to get the game going.
The game started out as a defensive struggle for both teams as the Plainsmen were trying to protect their home court and repeat as champions in the tournament. The Tigers, learning from their experience the night previous, broke the Plainsmen press and the scoring started around the mid point of the game with the Tigers building an eight point lead.
Late in the first, the Tigers allowed the Plainsmen back into the game and at the end of the first quarter, the score was knotted at 15.
The second quarter was a continuation of the strong defensive play in the first.
At the half, the Tigers had built a small lead going into the break up 28 to 24.
In the third quarter, the Tigers relentless press and strong defence would not allow the Plainsmen to set up and run their offense. At the end of the third quarter, the Tigers were up by a 53-34 score.
The Plainsmen tried to battle back in the fourth quarter but couldn’t catch up making the final 69-49 and awarded the Tigers the Championship.
“We played a very good game” said Head Coach Shayne Yaschyshyn.
“The girls were very motivated to win the tournament but more so to win against the team that stole the final game from us last year in the Credit Union Classic tournament in overtime by one point,” added Assistant Coach and manager Lynda Malkoske.
The game prior pitted the SVRSS Tigers against the Portage la Prairie Saints.
The Tigers came out against a very strong press which was something the Tigers had not yet experienced this season. They adjusted to the press and after the first quarter were up 13-7.
The two teams traded points in the second quarter - with 10 points each - making the score 23-17 at the half.
In the third quarter, the Tigers continued to gain confidence in their play and headed into the fourth quarter leading 37-27.
The fourth quarter was a defensive and physical battle with both teams showing fatigue from the long day. In the end, the Tigers came out on top by the final score 48-35.
With this win, the Tigers were into the championship final.
“The tournament ran late,” commented Assistant Coach Ian Kitch. “Both teams had to deal with the long break between games and the fatigue was definitely a factor. Overall the game play was strong and we played a very structured game and had the opportunity to correct some issues.”
The first game for the SVRSS Tigers in the crocus Plains Early Bird tournament was against the Boissevain Broncos.
The Tigers came out strong and earned an early 23-6 lead in the first quarter.
The Broncos came out in the second quarter with some strong play and at the half the Tigers were up by a 38-19 score.
The Tigers continued to control the majority of the game in the third and fourth quarters, making the final score 65-38 for the Tigers.
“We came out strong against the Broncos and I don’t think they were prepared for our strong press,” said Yaschyshyn. “In the second half, the Broncos stepped up their game and we got a little complacent until the third quarter. In the end we showed we could maintain a lead and keep our heads in the game.
“The level of competitive nature within this group of players is remarkable. We are progressing so well every time we play or practice, it makes it so easy to coach,” he continued.
The girls get a small break over the holidays but will head to the St. Boniface Dioceses Centurion Varsity Tournament in Winnipeg on Jan. 12 and 13.
“We will continue to practice until the school break to keep ourselves sharp,” said Yaschyshyn. “We have come up short a couple of times in the last few years and the girls really want to win that tournament.”

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Jakki Lumax
REPORTER
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