Cougars can’t stop Cyclones

Katie
Katie Brickman
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The Central Cyclones looked refreshed and prepared after having some time off during the Christmas break.

Inyota Mwunvaneza of the Caronport Cougars draws a double team of Parker Chow (right) and Bailey Wong of Central during senior boys high school basketball action on Tuesday evening. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman

By Katie Brickman

Despite two of their players out with an illness, the team played solid in all areas of their 95-30 victory over the Caronport Cougars in senior boys high school basketball league action on Tuesday.

“They played hard and ran hard and got that Christmas rust off, so to speak,” said Leigh Pethick, head coach of the Cyclones. “We played great, but we just pointed out some of the little things we have to work on, like communication.”

The Cougars struggled right from tip off with ball control and they seemed to force things offensively. Caronport had no answers for the Cyclones.

“We came out a little bit slow. We weren’t able to run our fast break like we wanted to (and) we weren’t boxing out like we should, but we still played well as a team,” said interim head coach Brendan Adrian. “The guys are still happy about it and the morale is still up.”

Despite being down by more than 50 points at half time, the Cougars still tried to run their systems and continued to battle for rebounds. The Cyclones had a much taller post core with Aidan Saldana, Dalton Wolfe and Dax Whitehead inside than the Cougars did with Inyota Mwunvaneza and Brandon Goudy.

Adrian was pleased with how the team continued to battle throughout the game despite the large gap.

“It was good to see and that is what we expect to see throughout the rest of the season,” Adrian said.

With two Cyclones players sick, the team rolled out a 10-man roster. Assistant coach Troy Setter established line combinations of three starters out with two bench players and tried to create some different chemistry with players.

“We tried to mix it up a little bit with some guys who haven’t played with each other very much this season,” said Pethick. “That was one of our goals too and coach Setter did that well.”

That chemistry might come in handy this weekend as the Cyclones participate and co-host the 53rd annual senior boys invitational tournament with Peacock.

“We need it coming into this weekend because it could be nasty for us with all the good teams coming,” said Pethick. “We are happy that we won and look forward to the weekend.”

There will be six other teams coming for a total of eight, including Peacock and Central at the tournament.

“Our focus is to win our first game against North Battleford,” said Pethick. “After that, we are hoping to get on the A-side and compete the rest of the way.”

Geographic location: North Battleford

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