Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Kainai wins the Sr. Girls banner at 2015 Chinook Post Season Basketball Tournament

2015 Chinook Basketball Girls Post Season Champions
Kainai Lady Warriors

Second Place - Dragons

Participating teams:
Coalhurst Crusaders
Crowsnest Panthers
Kainai Lady Warriors
Nanton Raiders
Nobleford Blades
Pincher Creek Dragons
Vulcan Hawks

Joey Jackson/Chris Davis

Pincher Creek was once again the host for the Chinook League Basketball Post Season Tournament for  high school Senior boys and girls. The tournament lasted 3 days, with the first game for each team a possible elimination game, but that didn't faze any of the top teams of the season, who all placed in the tournament the same way they ended their regular season. On the Senior Girls side of the tournament there were a few close games and a great final that saw the first place Kainai Lady Warriors take on the second place Pincher Creek Dragons. That final game came down the wire when the Dragons were only behind the Warriors by a few points, but they couldn't  pull it out in the final seconds and Kainai won, earning the League banner.

Warriors vs Dragons
The Coalhurst Crusaders found a silver lining in their playoff performance.  After losing to Kainai in the semi-finals they went on to play Nanton's J.T. Foster Raiders for third place. Coalhurst played back to back games, which may have seemed to give Nanton an advantage going into the game, but Coalhurst still played one of their better games of the tournament to win it 46-32. Nanton should not be disappointed in their performance against Coalhurst, they played an excellent defensive game for all four quarters, but unfortunately luck wasn't on their side offensively, with a lot of shots bouncing out of the rim or only missing by a few centimeters. If they had attained a few more of those baskets it could have been an entirely different game. One of the best games of the tournament wasn't a final or a game anyone may have expected to be one of the closer games. Nanton and Nobleford's Senior Girls put on quite the fourth quarter show in their early tournament game. They had the closest game of the weekend, with Nanton winning 43-40 to move on to the semi-finals. The game was exciting to the end, with the lead changing hands every few seconds in the final five minutes of the game.

Nobleford vs Nanton
Pincher Creek had a few players recognized for their great play throughout the regular season by being awarded a spot on the Chinook League All-Star teams. Rebecca Lowry won a league MVP award, and a spot on the first All-Star team. Jayden Kennedy was also selected for the first All-Star team, and Kate Nicas was selected for the second all star team. Jayden Kennedy played a big part offensively for her team in the tournament, constantly being the top scorer for the Dragons, and she was one of the big contributors to the win over Coalhurst when she scored three 3-pointers. Kate Nicas was also a big scorer for the Dragons, right behind Jayden in points every game. Rebecca Lowry scored plenty of points as well and was also one of the biggest defensive players, leading her team in blocks, take aways and rebounds.

Dragons vs Piikani

Pincher Creek's Dragons defeated Piikani by a wide margin.  Top scorers of the game were Dragons Jayden Kennedy with 19 points, Kate Nicas with 17 points, and Rebecca Lowry with 16 points.

Kainai Warriors vs Crowsnest Pass Pandas

Kainai's Lady Warriors defeated the Crowsnest Pass Pandas by a wide margin.  Top scorer of the game was Kainai's Jaden Standing Alone with 27 points, followed by teammates MadisonScott Yellowhorn with 16 points and Mackenzie Scott-Yellowhorn with 12 points.  Top Pandas scorer was Aislinn Maguire with 10 points.

Noble Central Blades vs J.T. Foster Raiders

The first close game of the Senior Girls series pitted Nobleford's Blades against Nanton's Raiders.  The Blades had a five point lead at the half, but the Raiders dominated the third quarter, going on to win the game 43-40.

Top scorer of the game was MaKayla Hofer of the Blades with 15 points, with Raider Hanna Matchett right behind her with 14 points.

Coalhurst Crusaders vs County Central Hawks

This was a decidedly one-sided game, with the Crusaders defeating Vulcan's Hawks by a very wide margin.  Top scorer was Crusader Rhonda Waldner with 16 points.

Kainai Lady Warriors vs J.T. Foster Raiders

The Lady Warriors dominated all but the third quarter on their way to a 52-30 win in this Girls semi-final.  Top scorer was Jaden Standing Alone of the Warriors with 13 points, followed by Raider Georgia Robinson with 11 points.

Dragons vs Crusaders

Pincher Creek's Dragons had a very strong first half against the Coalhurst Crusaders in this semi-final game.  The Dragons were ahead 33-23 going into the third quarter.  Coalhurst surged, winning the third and matching the Dragons almost point for point in the third quarter. The Dragons managed a 56-50 win to qualify for the final game.

Top scorer was Crusader Rhonda Waldner with 18 points, followed by Dragon Jayden Kennedy with 15 points.  Dragons Megan McGlynn and Rebecca Lowry, and Crusader Miriam Entz each scored 13 points.  

Raiders vs Crusaders for third place

The Coalhurst Crusaders dominated the first half of this game for third place, it was 29-6 in their favour going into the third quarter, and Nanton's Raiders dominated the second half, only a little less so, scoring 26 points to 17 for the Crusaders.  That strong first half was enough for the Crusaders to win the game 46-32, earning them third place.  Top scorer in the game, for the third time in this tournament, was Rhonda Waldner of the Crusaders with 17 points.

Warriors vs Dragons for first place

This deja vu game for first featured Pincher Creek's Dragons and Kainai's Lady Warriors again facing each other in a tournament final. On February 21 they were in the same Matthew Halton High School gym facing each other in the Hawks Classic final. The Lady Warriors won that one 61-47.  This Chinook League final would prove to be a much closer affair.  It didn't start out that way.  Kainai was ahead 21-9 at the end of a disastrous first quarter for the Dragons.  The Dragons got their groove back in the second quarter, outscoring the Warriors 14-10.  31-23 Warriors at the half.  The Warriors doubled up on the Dragons in the third, 10-5, putting them even further ahead.  The Dragons were valiant in the final quarter, outscoring the Warriors 14-6, but it wasn't enough to change the ultimate outcome.  Final score: Warriors 47, Dragons 42.

Rebecca Lowry (Dragons) with the ball
Top scorer of the game was Rebecca Lowry with 20 points, followed by Warriors Madison Scott-Yellowhorn and Jaden Standing Alone with 12 points each.

The Warriors went home with the 2015 Chinook League Basketball Girls Post Season Championship banner.  The Dragons earned second place.

Post Season Past Champions 
2013/2014 - Boys: Livingstone, Girls: Coalhurst 
2012/2013 - Boys: Coalhurst, Girls: St Michaels
2011/2012 - Boys: St. Michaels, Girls: Livingstone 
2010/2011 - Boys: Livingstone, Girls: St. Michaels 
2009/2010 - Boys: Piikani, Girls: St. Michaels

Videos by Joey Jackson and Chris Davis
Photos by Kim Jorgensen, Joey Jackson, Toni Lucas, Chris Davis

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