HIGH JUMP- Jonrick Tubungbanua of the Lacombe Composite High School Rams sr. varsity boys basketball team went up for a layup during the gold medal game against the Brooks High School Buffalos during the Rams' home tournament on Saturday evening. The Rams lost a close one 69-67 to take home silver.

HIGH JUMP- Jonrick Tubungbanua of the Lacombe Composite High School Rams sr. varsity boys basketball team went up for a layup during the gold medal game against the Brooks High School Buffalos during the Rams' home tournament on Saturday evening. The Rams lost a close one 69-67 to take home silver.

Rams settle for silver in home tournament after dramatic final game

Senior boys narrowly missed their shot at gold during last week's game. ee

BY ZACHARY CORMIER

A thin piece of metal attached to a backboard was the only thing standing between the Lacombe Composite High School Rams Sr. boys basketball team and a dramatic gold medal win at their home tournament this past weekend.

With his team trailing the visiting Brooks High School Buffalos 69-67, Rams point guard Jonrick Tubungbanua dribbled the ball to the centre line. There was no time left on the clock to drive to the basket. No time to pass the ball to a teammate. With no other options available to him, Tabungbanua took the only option available to him: he lifted his head, took aim at the basket and fired just as the final buzzer rang out.

Spectators, players and coaches alike collectively held their breath as the ball arced through the air towards the basket, exhaling only when the clang of the ball off the iron rang out through the LCHS gym.

“As the shot was in the air I said ‘oh this will be interesting,’” said Rams Head Coach Tim Mclenahan after the Saturday evening game, which the Rams ended up losing 69-67 to take home silver from their home tournament.

“It actually probably was the right way to end. It was very close.”

It was the perfect conclusion to a game which saw two gifted basketball teams exchange leads and chances throughout, with the Buffalos prevailing after a last minute 7-0 scoring run.

“Brooks is a very athletic group. They’re top in their zone, 3A in Southern Alberta, and they haven’t lost yet. So they’re a good squad,” Mclenahan said, adding that having the chance to play against a team as strong as Brooks was a good experience for a Lacombe team, which is building towards becoming a provincial contender.

“It’s great that we get an athletic team like that to try and work against a zone defense. For the most part the shots we took were great but we’re just not used to doing it with kids that are that quick, that fast, and that athletic.”

Right from the start it appeared that this one was going to come down to the wire. By the end of the first half, the scores stood deadlocked at 27 points apiece.

“It was a very exciting game. We had the shot we wanted to win at the end but really, a lot of the work needed to be done earlier. We just didn’t shoot the ball as well as we need to against a zone,” said Mclenahan.

In the end, he explained, it came down to defense. Brooks’ zone defense was able to shut down the Lacombe shooters early in the game, which allowed their offense to take over and come out with the win at the last minute.

“We did not handle the pressure very well. We didn’t rely on the system and the structure and people started to do things on their own. When you do that it doesn’t always work out for you, and this time it didn’t.”

This isn’t the first time the Rams have played a game down to the wire. According to Mclenahan it’s happened seven times before, and they came out on top in all of them.

“We were due to come up on the short end,” he said.

Still, the strong performance against a team as dominant as Brooks bodes well for the young team, who currently boast a 10-3 record.

“We’re a pretty young group. We’re just trying to lay the ground work and trying to make it a bit of a two-year season, but at the same time we believe that we should be going to provincials this year.

“I like where we are. We’ve just got to do those attention-to-detail things at a fast pace.”

Meanwhile, the junior varsity boys had a successful tournament as well, earning a spot in the final game before falling in the final to a dominant West Central High School team to come away with silver.

zcormier@lacombeexpress.com

 

Just Posted

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer drops to 71 active cases of COVID-19

Province adds 127 new cases of the virus

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

The Sylvan Lake Gulls show off the home jerseys (white) and their way jerseys at the Gulls Media Day on June 17, before the season opener. Following the media day, the team took to the field for their first practise. (Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News)
Sylvan Lake Gulls ready to throw first pitch as construction continues

The Gulls inaugural season kicks off June 18 with a game against the Edmonton Prospects

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

Most Read