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Tigers Come Out on Top at Abbreviated Tourney

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The heavy snow definitely affected the Swan Valley Credit Union Senior Girls Basketball Tournament last weekend (Feb. 1 and 2) but organizers were able to pull it all together and the SVRSS Tigers were able to claim another championship in their season.
“Originally scheduled as an eight team tournament it was unfortunate that a team had to drop out a week prior and due to inclement weather conditions a second team dropped out on the first day,” said Tigers’ Head Coach Shayne Yaschyshyn.
“This left the organizers scrambling to redraw the schedule to ensure that the five teams that braved the weather conditions and motored to Swan River would be able to play at their scheduled times as well as play three games throughout the weekend. Thankfully the teams and referees were understanding and the tournament went off without any additional issues.”
The teams in attendance included Swan River, Hudson Bay, Chemawawin Cree Nation, Gilbert Plains, Opaskwayak Cree Nation and Virden. Each team played two placement games to determine their position in the playoff brackets and then continued on from there where Swan River and Virden found themselves in the championship final.
The Tigers came out strong in the first quarter taking a 26-7 lead.
In the second quarter, the Tigers, unfortunately, ditched their game plan and Virden took advantage to get back into the game at half time with the score being 37-20.
The Tigers were able to regroup in the third and got back to playing their brand of basketball to take a 63-34 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Tigers tightened up their defence and played to the final buzzer with a 80 to 40 championship win.
“We have been talking and working on strengthening our defense to limit the amount of points we are giving up,” said Yaschyshyn. “We have to stop giving teams 40 or 50 points a game. We have been fortunate that we have been scoring 60 to 80 points a game but that can change quickly and we need to limit the amount of points we are giving up. We got off our game plan in the second quarter which resulted in Virden beating us that quarter.”
“We must limit teams going on a run and forcing us to chase them rather than control the flow of the game,” added Assistant Coach Ian Kitch.
Making their way to the championship final and due to the changes in the schedule, the Tigers came up against the Chemawawin Eagles in their second game of the weekend.
The Tigers controlled the game from beginning to end and came out with a 71-14 win.
“The game against Chemawawin allowed for us to work on new offensive and defensive strategies,” said Yaschyshyn. “We got everyone into the game and used some different player combinations which will provide us with meaningful data going into the back half of our season.”
“It also allowed for some of our players to play with players they normally might not play with,” added Kitch. “This will give them some familiarity if they are playing together in future games.”
The Tigers started the tournament playing the Hudson Bay Riders.
They came out a little rusty from the long break to start the game but found a grove and took a commanding lead in the first quarter by a score of 18-0.
The Tigers continued to dominate the court and had a 34-6 lead at half time.
Hudson Bay came out strong after the break and matched the Tigers in the third with both teams scoring 12 points to make the score 46-18 after three.
The fourth quarter saw the Tigers dominantly take over to make the final score 61-24.
“We came into this tournament with some specific goals,” said Yaschyshyn. “Of course we wanted to win the tournament but we also wanted to work on some new offense and defensive sets in a game atmosphere. The third quarter was good for us to understand where potential defensive breakdowns will occur and we can learn from this game going forward.”
Next up for the Tigers will be an on the road experience in Winnipeg where they participate in the Tech Voc Invitational Tournament. “This will be a good tournament for us to see how we stack up against some strong competitive teams,” concluded Yaschyshyn.

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Jakki Lumax
REPORTER
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