Saturday November 22, 2014

Comp sr. basketball teams strong heading into playoffs


The senior boys and girls basketball teams have been racking up the wins headed into playoffs.

The senior girls were in Estevan for a conference tournament over the weekend. They played against Balgonie in the first game of the tournament and won by 26 points. Then, they played Estevan in the semi-final and won by 21 points.

The girls met Notre Dame, who is ranked second in the province, in the final match. The Eagles girls fought to keep the game closed for the first three quarters, but Notre Dame gained a 10-point lead and the Weyburn girls slipped in the final quarter, losing 96-71.

“Everyone on the team played awesome! Everyone stepped up their intensity, proving to everyone how badly they wanted to win,” said girls coach Karly Johnson. The girls will advance to regional playoffs in Moose Jaw on Friday, Mar. 7 and Saturday, Mar. 8.

The senior boys kept their winning streak going strong in the conference tournament in Balgonie. The boys played Estevan in the first game at the conferences and came out on top, winning 96-65. Reece Williams was the top scorer, with 34 points. Wade Letkeman also scored 14 and Rhett Williams scored 13. Jack Carleton made 13 rebounds.

In the final championship game of the tournament, the Eagles smashed their competition with a score of 103-36. Ben Rumpel and Rhett both scored 21 points, with Reece adding 18 to the tally for the Eagles.

The boys are hosting the boys regional playoffs this weekend. Part of the senior boys success this season comes from how long the team has been playing together and how close the team is. Three of them were very close to start with. Jacquie Williams, head coach of the senior boys team, has twin boys on the team.

“There are times when it is tough to coach your own kids. I am always harder on them and expect more,” said Williams, but added that the whole team has become special to her. She started coaching some of the players when they were at the Junior High and progressed with them.

“I have known five of them since Grade 1. They are all like my sons and it has been fun watching them grow into fine young men,” she said. Jacquie’s sons, Rhett and Reece, see the close family connection as a benefit when they are playing.

“It’s really fun playing with your twin because when we’re on the same page, we seem to have a connection that no one else can really match. It’s great having my mom as a coach because it allows my biggest supporter to be with me at every moment of the game,” said Rhett.

“It’s definitely interesting because, when we’re in a tight game, I have my mom and my brother beside me telling me what to do. Some people might take it the wrong way, but not our family. We welcome it with open arms,” said Reece, who is also team captain.

Both twins said the comfort they have with each other and their mother extends to their teammates because of the length of time they have been playing together and the friendships they have formed.

“The thing I will miss most (after grad), is not seeing my team mates everyday because I’ve been playing basketball since elementary school with them and we are sort of like a big family,” said Reece.

Now, as the team heads into playoffs they have set high expectations for themselves. Jacquie said she hopes the team can win provincials, but that she also hopes they remember the friendships they formed and what they accomplished together for years to come.

“I feel really confident with how our team is heading into the final stretch of the season. I feel like if we don’t make it to the championship game, it’s going to be a really disappointing season because we are capable of winning it all,” said Reece, who was echoed by his brother, Rhett.

“I would like our team to make it all the way to the provincial finals, so I could experience a moment like that. Then, once we are in the finals, all I could ask for would be for us to try our best and be a part of a game that would be talked about for years to come,” he said.


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