Thursday, March 5, 2015

Gold for TMS Eagles at SWJHAA Jr. B Girls Post Season Basketball Tournament after undefeated season

2014/15 SWJHAA Jr B Girls Champions TMS Eagles
J. Jackson photos/videos
Bronze for St. Michael's 2014/15 Jr. B Dragons
Joey Jackson

Saint Michael's Dragons hosted the South Western Junior High Athletic Association (SWJHAA) 2015 Junior B Girls Post Season Basketball Tournament on Saturday February 28th.

The tournament included 9 teams total with a few going home pretty early and the big winner coming pretty late. The tournament did not start the way it was planned, with TMS 2 (Kainai’s second team) being around half an hour late for the first game against Halton's Hawks at 8 in the morning. Then the second game with Claresholm vs. Livingston put the tournament even more off schedule when it went to overtime. By the time the final game between Kainai 2 and Piikani rolled around everything was about 2 hours late, but the tournament finally concluded with Kainai's TMS 1 Eagles winning first place in the regular season and in the tournament by defeating Piikani's Warriors.

Hawks vs TMS 2
Sabres vs Cobras
The Matthew Halton Hawks won their first game of the tournament against TMS 2, but were later eliminated by TMS’s older team in their next game. The Livingstone Sabres were the earliest home-area knockout when they lost to the Claresholm Cobras in the most exciting game of the tournament, The Sabres fought hard to come back when being down in the 3rd then going ahead late in the 4th, but when they failed to convert on a few foul shots in the last minute of regulation it gave the Cobras the chance to tie it up and then take control in overtime.

Dragons vs Cobras
The St. Mikes Dragons fared well in all of their games, ending the regular season and tournament with Bronze. The Dragons played Claresholm for Bronze, winning 36-22. After their last game Dragons head coach Mark Zoratti had a few words to say about his team's performance throughout this season.  “I was very proud of this team, I was impressed by how well they picked up and learned the game so quickly.”  He also mentioned how the team felt about their experience this season. “The whole team, who are all in grade 7, said that they wanted to come back and play next year even though they all can go on to play Jr A ball.”

Eagles vs Warriors
The tournament concluded when the Kainai Eagles (TMS1) defeated the Piikani Warriors for Gold. Kainai cruised by all the teams they faced, they first took on Halton and were unfazed, they then took on Claresholm, where they had one of the best defensive performances of the tournament, winning that game 44-26.  Not letting Claresholm have a successful breakout they were able to force turnovers and keep the ball in the offensive zone for a majority of the game. They finally faced Piikani in the final, winning 5 to 30. The Kainai Eagles were deservingly very excited moments before the game ended because they had outplayed every other team, not only in the tournament, but in the regular season as well. The Eagles went undefeated all season with multiple blowout games it almost seemed impossible to beat them. It is even more impressive that this team became this good considering a few years ago Kainai didn't have a strong girls basketball program and their school had no Junior B team. The Kainai Eagles finished their amazing season on top and now hope their current team will go on to play great in Junior A next season.

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