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Bringing Home the Hardware


Battling it out for the AAA provincial title this past weekend (March 8-10), both the SVRSS Tigers Junior Girls’ and Boys’ Basketball teams made the Valley proud. The boys came back with a consolation final win while the girls earned hardware, falling in the gold medal match and bringing home silver around their necks.
Junior Girls

The girls team had an outstanding performance at MHSAA Basketball Provincials, winning silver medals and a Provincial Finalist banner, capping off an amazing season.
“At the beginning of the season, the team had one goal in mind and that was to return to the Provincial Basketball Tournament and play in one of the finals on Saturday,” said Head Coach Lise Fraser, noting that last year, the team played in the consolation finals.
With the semi-final win on Saturday, the Tigers faced the Lorette Scorpions in the Gold Medal Game.
“The Lorette Scorpions were a formidable opponent, with size and speed and the Tigers found themselves down by more than 20 at half time,” said Fraser. “But the team re-focused, made some adjustments and scored point by point with Lorette for the second half.
“Sydney Gilroy, Ali and Jada Kujanpaa utilized their speed by dribbling through the Lorette press. The Tigers did not give up and continued to press, and steal the ball.
“Turnovers created by Sydney Fedorchuk and Josie Black resulted in a final basket made by Klatt with only 30 seconds to play,” she continued. “Klatt was fouled on the play and made the free throw. By the end of the game, the score was 50-32 for Lorette.”
With a win against Beausejour, the Tigers played College Pierre Elliot Trudeau (CPET), who were ranked No. 1, in the semi-final game on Friday.
“The semi-final game was the most intense game the Tigers had played in the season,” said Fraser. “Both teams utilized a press and played a physical game.
“The lead traded back and forth throughout the game with neither team giving an edge. At the beginning of the fourth quarter the score was tied 35-35. With a minute left in the game Klatt scored a basket which tied the score at 47-47.
“CPET pushed the ball down the floor, trying to score the winning basket but Ireland Staples then stole the ball and put the Tigers ahead 49-47,” she continued. :With .07 seconds left in the game, CPET attempted to inbound the ball and sink a three pointer for the win but were not able to get the shot away.”
To start the tournament, the Tigers played their first game on Thursday against the Beausejour Barons.
“This was an important game for the Tigers because a win would place them on the Championship side of the draw,” said Fraser. “The Tigers used an all-out attack defensively and offensively. Beausejour had difficulty managing the press of the Tigers and by the end of the game the score was 46-25 for Swan Valley.
“The game certainly seemed closer than the final score would indicate as Beausejour didn't quit, at times cutting into the lead of the Tigers, whittling it down to only 11 points. But, the Tigers stayed with the game plan and extended the lead in the fourth quarter.”
Later that evening a Skills Competition was held for the teams with the girls taking second in the dribbling contest against Pierre Elliot Trudeau performing well in the Skills Shooting competition.
“ The coaches received compliments from officials and other coaches regarding the level of play and sportsmanship exhibited by the Swan Valley players,” concluded a very proud Fraser.
Junior Boys
The junior boys also had an outstanding weekend, playing well and earning the consolation final title.
“We had a really good weekend at the tournament,” said Head Coach Jody Williams. “We were pushed into the final against Lorette and it was close. No team had more than a 2-3 point lead from start to finish.
“The good news about that game was a couple of our injured players had basically a whole day to rest up from rolled ankles, so they were able to get some minutes on the floor and contribute in a small way. It was positive to have those players back, and end score was a win 65-61.
In game two of the tournament, the Tigers played the host team, Stonewall.
“The environment was really exciting to be a part of – very high energy,” said Williams. “We got down about eight points early in the game, but character of our team has us dig in hard, not panic and wait until the last five minutes of the game to see where we’re at.
“With seven minutes left it was still fairly close. Then, we got on a run and got some quick baskets, played good defense and at the end of the game the score worked out to be 58-42. We got on a roll and put that game away, which was really good for the players.”
Williams noted that they 2 players that had been injured the day before didn’t play, making the team a little underpowered but giving a chance for some players to come off the bench and play a significant part in the win.
The team started the tournament with a game against Louis Riel.
“We lost that game in overtime with a score of 70-80,” Williams said. “We were plugging along with fairly close game – no team really ahead more than 3-4 points.
“Unfortunately, going into the third and fourth quarter is when those players got injured and were unable to finish the game, ending regulation tied.
“Moving into overtime, we weren’t able to sustain that momentum we had and the game got a bit away on us,” he continued. “That’s what put us into the consolation pool.”
“At the end of the day, winning the consolation final means you come fifth in the province. But, I felt you could have flipped a coin on who would win because the teams were so closely matched. It was a great season for the players and they have no reason to be disappointed about the outcome of the weekend.”
Ty Spence was recognized as a Provincial All--star, during the weekend.
“We had a good season,” said Williams. “As strong as it was, we had some ups and downs within the season but the players were always about basketball, and when they walked in the gym it was a place for them to focus and do something they really like to do and they work hard at it.
“Those results paid off as getting to the Provincial tournament is really difficult. It was a really good experience for us.”