June 18th, 2018

Provincial hoops in local spotlight

By Woodard, Dale on March 14, 2018.

This week’s ‘High School’ Notebook column by Dave Wells

It’s Alberta Schools Athletic Association Provincial Basketball Championships week. By Saturday night eight teams will have been crowned Wild Rose Country champs.

The tournament tips Thursday throughout Alberta.

Two local schools proudly present really big shows. Claresholm Willow Creek are the 2A Boys hosts. Kainai, on the Blood Reserve, is the site of 2A Girls.

I know for a fact these schools and their constituencies have been planning to put on memorable galas for well over a year.

I’m happy to see they both appear to have strong teams to cheer on. Willow Creek claimed the South Zone 2A Boys banner, while Kainai were second at zones in 2A Girls.

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Medicine Hat High are pseudo-area high school hosts, too, in that their hoop teams play in local centered leagues. Hat High have a new gym this year and have celebrated hosting both (24 total teams) ASAA 4A volleyball provincials, (hundreds on the mats) wrestling provincials and this week both (32 teams) 4A basketball provincials. My, oh, my.

Without question, I know the Hat High administration is looking forward to welcoming as many area fans as possible. Beyond being neighbourly, they have a continuing project to complete a running track above the gym floor that could use some gate receipt support.

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Here’s a complete list of South Zone reps heading to cage provincials, replete with host sites:

4A Boys in Medicine Hat: Magrath (zone champions), LCI, Cardston, Medicine Hat High.

4A Girls in Medicine Hat): Raymond (zone champions), Magrath, LCI, Medicine Hat High.

3A Boys in Cochrane: Taber W.R. Myers (zone champions).

3A Girls in Cochrane: Taber W.R. Myers (zone champions), Medicine Hat McCoy.

2A Boys in Claresholm: Willow Creek (zone champions), Immanuel Christian, Kainai.

2A Girls in Kainai: Immanuel Christian (zone champions), Kainai, Coaldale Kate Andrews.

1A Boys in Lacombe: Stirling (zone champions), Nanton J.T. Foster.

1A Girls in Lacombe: Stirling (zone champions), Foremost.

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Even the completion of provincials does not bring the curtain down on local high school basketball action. Heck no. Next week is all-star games and individual awards time.

I know the associated Tony Roma’s Southern Alberta 4A Boys and Girls Basketball Leagues (www.SouthHoops.ca) have their combined finale next Wednesday, March 21 at Chinook.

More on that event and others I’m made aware of, seven days hence in this space.

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I was tooling around the ASAA website (www.asaa.ca) when I came upon the fact the LCI boys rink had won silver medals in the provincial high school curling championships the March 3 weekend in St. Albert, while the Chinook mixed foursome earned bronze. I don’t know if that had been reported in this publication previously or not. I do know it sure seems likely to have run if the Herald staffers were informed. Wow, so much high school sports coverage recently.

I was happy to see ASAA provincials wrestling championships results from last weekend’s Gas City grapplefest reported in this august journal (also next day’s fish wrap if required) this week.

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On deck currently in terms of ASAA provincial championships is cheerleading in Lethbridge, presented by LCI, April 6-7.

WELLSIE’S WORLD – As an organizer, I feel compelled to give a heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped pull off the South Zone 4A Basketball Championships/Southern Alberta High School Girls and 4A Boys Basketball League Junior Varsity Playoffs last week. There’s just so much work and co-operation involved.

The event is a happening, which began in 1975. I truly hope it outlives all of our corporeal vessels.

The University of Lethbridge are key contributors. As an aside, the U of L does not make one dime more, regardless of the gate they help bring in.

I had many happy moments during this year’s event, but I was saddened immediately upon hearing Don Gellatly had recently passed.

Don, who played basketball at Mount Royal, coached at several area high schools. He also served as an assistant coach with the U of L men’s roundball team that captured bronze at nationals.

Later, Don contributed greatly to the local high school athletic scene – and education as a whole – as a school administrator. He became known on a national scale handling a terribly tragic school shooting situation while serving as Taber W.R. Myers principal. I thought Don did a truly masterful job.

He battled cancer for a decade. Throughout the struggle, Don’s effervescent love of family, gambling and sports brought joy to him and those he interacted with.

A life too short chronologically, but fully realized. Happy lasting memories indeed.

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