By Lethbridge Herald on March 19, 2017.
After an impressive weekend of busting the bracket, the Cardston Cougars boys basketball team fell just shy of the gold medal.
The Cougars were defeated 95-70 by the Calgary Bishop McNally Timberwolves during the championship game of the Alberta Schools Athletic Association 4A Boys Basketball championship game Saturday night at the 1st Choice Savings Centre to take the silver medal in front of a crowd of 2,500.
The Cougars weren’t the only local team to come away with a medal after the LCI Clippers girls team downed the Calgary Centennial High School Coyotes 76-73 in the bronze medal game earlier in the day.
After knocking off the second-seeded Edmonton Harry Ainlay Titans Friday afternoon before sending the 11th-ranked Calgary Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs packing in the semifinal Friday night, the Cougars were unable to complete the storybook ending against fourth-ranked Bishop McNally.
“We made a good run, it’s just tonight wasn’t our night,” said Cougars head coach Ken McMurray. “McNally, their athleticism just showed tonight and they shot the ball really well, too, deep threes. We just didn’t have an answer for them and we had a hard time scoring. Their defence was terrific tonight.”
The Timberwolves opened up a 23-14 lead after the first quarter and padded their lead to 48-31 at the half.
Both sides kept it close in the third quarter, but McNally outscored Cardston 24-17 in the fourth quarter on their way to this year’s provincial banner.
“I was certainly proud of them,” said McMurray of the weekend. “They rose to the occasion and knocked off some very good teams along the way. We just needed one more.”
Still there was no shame in this silver medal.
“I said ‘You know what? Let’s not just focus on this one,’” said McMurray. “Let’s look back on what we did and the season we had and go from there.”
In Saturday night’s gold medal game, Max Russell put up a 26-point effort, while Jaxon Jensen drained 17.
For the Timberwolves, Aaron Fernandes led the way with 26 points and Camille Kamba added 20.
Briekie Davis hit for 18 points for Bishop McNally and Diew Moses scored 12.
In the Clippers win over the Coyotes, Hannah Gibb led the way with 21 points for LCI and Jessica Zarowny added 19 to earn the Clippers the bronze medal. Catriona Smith added 15 points for LCI and Jocelyn Neilson had 14.
For Centennial, Brooke Evason and Hallie Watt each scored 12 points. Savanah Clements hit for 11 points, while Mya Proctor had 10.
In the girls gold medal game, the Edmonton Jasper Place Rebels beat the Western Canada Redhawks 74-59.
Leading the Rebels was Hayley Weaver with 16 points. Sydney Fedick and Mackenna Ledgister added 15 each and Morgan Mudge had 10.
In the boys bronze medal game, the Edmonton St. Francis Xavier Rebels beat the Calgary Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs 75-66.
Geoffrey James led the way with 17 points for the Rebels and William Monga put up 14. Liam Harrison bucketed 12 points for St. Francis Xavier Rebels.
For the Bulldogs, Pelumi Ajayi had 26 points, while Matthew Fullerton chipped in with 20.
Boys fifth-place game
Edmonton Harry Ainlay Titans 80, Magrath Zeniths 72
The South Zone champion Zeniths fell just shy in the fifth-place game, losing by eight to the Titans. Saturday afternoon at Chinook.
Taylor Cook paced Magrath with 16 points and Sam Payne added 13. Paycen Blackmore bucketed 11 points for the Zeniths, while Parker Clifton and Brady Tollestrup each had 10.
The Titans were led by Brandon Meiklejohn’s 22-point performance, while teammate contributed with 20. Sabry Phillip also hit double digits for Harry Ainlay with 10 points.
In the girls fifth-place game, the Strathcona High School Lords posted a 69-65 win over the Medicine Hat High School Kwahommies.
Boys consolation final
Edmonton Jasper Place Rebels 77, Calgary Bishop OByrne Bobcats 56
Waktola Eticha led the Rebels with 18 points and Daniel McLaren and Ben Krikke each had 17. Emmanuel Amaya added 14 for Jasper Place.
For the Bobcats, Landon Parrington led the way with 17 points and Angelo Mbituyimana hit for 14.
Girls consolation final
St. Albert Catholic High Skyhawks 65, Calgary Bishop Carroll Cardinals 58
The Skyhawks were led by Sarah Dedrick’s 13 points in the consolation win. Abby Morrison added 12 points and Marina Cain had 10.
Julia Summers was the Cardinals top point-getter with a 15-point afternoon. Sofia DiGiacomo and Danielle Crews scored 13 and 11 points, respectively.
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