The St. Mary Marauders senior boy’s basketball team has won eight tournaments this year, but the biggest fish is still in the barrel and now they can go and try and land that prize after qualifying for Hoopla on the weekend.
The Marauders had little trouble winning their regional qualifier as they blasted North Battleford John Paul II 109-45 in their opening game on Friday and then outscored Moose Jaw Peacock 92-69 in the final on Saturday.
“It’s a good opportunity,” said St. Mary coach Dale Regel after the win against Moose Jaw. “We didn’t get to go last year because of injuries.”
“The big thing is maintain our composure and don’t get mad,” added Regel. “We have to think of the team first and not yourself.”
Patience Ishimwe led the Marauders in the win over Peacock with 24 points while Cody Sjogren added 14 and Aaron Halyk chipped in with 12. Brian Tolentino was the leading scorer in the victory over North Battleford when he notched 22 points.
St. Mary will face Yorkton Regional in their first game at Hoopla and should they win that they will meet either Regina O’Neill or Moose Jaw Central for the provincial title.
In 4A girl’s regional events on the weekend, St. Mary lost both of its games at the qualifier held in North Battleford as they fell 47-34 to Weyburn in their opening game and then were outscored 44-28 by Moose Jaw Central in the consolation final.
Carlton Crusaders had their hopes of a Hoopla berth vanish when they fell 66-50 to Regina Luther in their opening game at the event held in Moose Jaw, but they rebounded with a convincing 56-46 triumph over Balgonie in the consolation final.
The 3A girl’s regional tournament in Lumsden probably featured the biggest heartbreak of the weekend as the Rivier Guardians were ahead by three points with six seconds remaining in their opening game against Meadow Lake, only to lose 39-37. A three-point shot by Meadow Lake tied the score and then a steal on the ensuing inbound play resulted in the winning basket as time ran out. Rivier didn’t fold the tent, however, as they came back to easily defeat Macklin 59-30 in the consolation final. Kianne Henry with 14 points and Jordan McEwen with 10 led the Guardians’ attack in the win over Macklin.
There were also several 2A regional qualifying events in the area with Birch Hills winning both the boy’s and girl’s events in their own backyard as did the Meath Park girls.
In the 2A boy’s event, Birch Hills got 25 points from Brayden Ulvild in an 85-62 decision over Hanley and they will now face Rosthern in the opening game of their Hoopla tournament next weekend.
Lisa Tilford’s 26 points powered Birch Hills past Shaunavon 72-59 and into the 2A girl’s Hoopla event where they will meet Wynyard in their opening contest. Meath Park got past Asquith 75-51 on the strength of the 20 points scored by Leanne Lachance and they will now square off against Foam Lake at Hoopla. A Birch Hills-Meath Park provincial final is a real possibility in the 2A girl’s event.
All Hoopla games will be played in Saskatoon with action getting under way on Friday and all provincial finals scheduled for Saturday.