In their toughest match of the tournament, Central Alberta Christian High School proved the tougher.
Last weekend, the Central Alberta Christian High School Invitational Basketball Tournament was held. On the boy’s side, the CACHS Knights were victorious over the Holy Redeemer Rebels to win the gold medal.
Coach Veronica Den Oudsten said she was impressed with how the boys played.
“We were very hot today,” she said, adding that the Rebels are ranked as one of the strongest teams in the province.
“I knew we could compete (with them) but to beat them is a different thing,” said Den Oudsten. “We aren’t going to beat them every time we see them.”
At the start of the game, it was the Rebels who were in charge and did a splendid job keeping the Knights away from their net with a tight defense. However, the Knights were able to find a way around that problem by not needing to be near the net to score with a string of three-point shots.
As the Knights took and then extended their lead with this tactic, they gained momentum enabling them to break the Rebels’ defence and further take charge of the game. By the end of the first quarter, the Knights were winning with a score of 23-16.
In the second quarter the Knights continued to take charge while the Rebels lost momentum and were visibly shaken on the court. Although the Rebels were never too far behind the Knights, it was clear that CACHS was very much in control of the game and the scoreboard showed Knights in the lead 43-35 at the end of the half.
When play resumed, the Rebels showed renewed vigor on the court and were fast catching up to the Knights. A number of times it looked as if the tides might change with the Knights in danger of losing the lead. Easily the tightest quarter, the third ended with the Knights in the lead at 59-56.
Den Oudsten said while she was confident the Knights could compete, there were a few times it looked like the game might be slipping through their fingers.
She said the Rebels are a strong team with a lot of strong players and so she stressed the importance of the Knights concentrating on some of the Rebels’ key players.
“I was concerned but I know my guys will work hard.”
Despite their best efforts, the Rebels were not able to catch up and overcome the Knights. A few nudges in the right direction from Den Oudsten where needed kept them on the right track and the Knights were able to win the game 86-73.
Den Oudsten said she has been after her players to play both hard and smart. She said she had only just gotten them to play hard consistently, and in the gold medal match they started to play smart as well.
“It kind of all came together, it was definitely a very good game for us,” said Den Oudsten. She added that the tournament overall was evidence of the team’s recent improvement.
Teamwork and work ethic were the biggest factors in the gold medal win, said Den Oudsten.