September 30th, 2016

A torrent of tourneys


By Lethbridge Herald on December 9, 2015.

‘High School Notebook’ column by Dave Wells

Last week in this space I asked for tournament hosts to get me draws if they wanted a little advance publicity. As always, that offer remains standing as long as folks get the info to me at david.wells@holyspirit.ab.ca by Tuesday afternoon of the week in question. Thanks to multiple organizers who heeded my request this time around.
Cardston High School play host to eight-team Girls and Boys Cougar Classic hoop events Friday and Saturday. Games are played at the high school, junior high and the impressive relatively new elementary school, venues. Yes, an elementary school with a suitable court for top-level high school competition. They know gyms in the Westwind School Division!
Cardston is joined by Magrath, Raymond, Okotoks Foothills, Calgary Centennial, Chestermere, Cranbrook Mt. Baker and Saskatoon Marian Graham (nice get) in the male section.
On the female front, the home Cougars entertain Raymond, Magrath, Taber W.R. Myers, Foothills, Centennial, Calgary St. Mary’s and Calgary William Aberhart.
Catholic Central Campus East is the site of the CCH Winter Classic Varsity Girls Basketball Tournament Friday and Saturday. It’s a six-team throwdown including these Cougars along with Chinook, Sherwood Park Archbishop Jordan, Red Deer Lindsay Thurber, Medicine Hat McCoy and Coleman Crowsnest. The Cardston and Catholic Central events both feature many regulars at 4A and 3A provincials.
Meanwhile in Coaldale, the Kate Andrews High School Boys Christmas Basketball Festival is on tap Friday and Saturday. The host Pride are joined by Coaldale Christian, Lethbridge Immanuel Christian, W.R. Myers, Coalhurst, Taber St. Mary’s, Vauxhall and Lundbreck Livingstone. That is an eclectic group indeed including 2A (ICS) and 1A (Livingstone) Alberta silver medallists from 2014-15.
Heck, the Kate Andrews administration is certainly interested in promotion. I’ve already received the draw for their female tourney next weekend.
•••
Last week I did a brief advance on the associated Southern Alberta High School Basketball Leagues here. This time around it’s the Deep South deepsouthbasketball.com loop’s turn.
It’s a small, but provincially 1A/2A historically mighty group (three provincial golds and a silver last year) indeed.
This season there are four girls’ members, including Immanuel Christian, Picture Butte, Stirling and Claresholm Willow Creek. That group, along with Kate Andrews, are in the boys’ division. Both genders have varsity and junior varsity play, with Willow Creek not in varsity boys this season.
•••
If you are looking for a little fast-paced boys high school cage action tonight, might I suggest Raymond’s visit to Catholic Central at Campus West. I would say it seems very plausible more than 50 three-point attempts will be launched. And that could be a very conservative estimate. I would not be surprised if Raymond fires more treys than any Alberta high school team ever this season. And, they might well top that total next season.
•••
I’m really happy to report LCI is hosting the Alberta Schools Athletic Association Rural Provincial Wrestling Championships on Feb. 26-27. I’m sure many of the competitors in last weekend’s LCI Green & Gold Wrestling Classic will return. ASAA wrestling has three routes to the overall grappling provincials, set for March 11-12 in Edmonton. In addition to the Rural Provincials, Calgary and Edmonton City Championships are qualifiers.
To my way of thinking wrestling is one of the fairest sports on the planet in terms of opportunity for various body types and sizes. It’s become a bastion of opportunity for female athletes, too.
•••
On the other hand, there is no doubt that height can be advantageous in basketball. In this Christmas season I’m happy to report some players’ fervent wishes in regards to growth appear to be coming to fruition, too! Need evidence? Just check out http://www.southhoops.ca for Southern Alberta High School Girls and 4A Boys Basketball League roster heights. Some may be close to barefoot-accurate — but not many. I’d say a two-inch boost is not out of the norm either.
What is the genesis of these figures?
“I just ask kids how tall they want to be listed at,” responded one head coach. Another replied, “I measure them in their shoes.”
Alas, youth’s optimism about impending elevation is anything but new. I once encountered a lengthy historic list of male high school All-Americans and realized virtually all were supposedly taller at that juncture than they ended up being recorded in the NBA. Hmm.
WELLSIE’S WORLD — Very impressive early season on the ice so far for the Lethbridge Hurricanes. I really hope the team’s financial situation is improving too.

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