Toilers open with big win

Katie Brickman
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Spirits fall short in comeback

It was exactly the way the Peacock Toilers wanted to start their local tournament.

Libby Epoch of the Peacock Toilers tries to beat Sam Van Luven from Regina Johnson during the Moose Jaw invitational girls basketball tournament on Thursday evening. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman

The Toilers began the three-day competition with a 76-44 win over Regina Johnson on Thursday evening at Peacock.

“We are off to a good start,” said Renee Verge, head coach of the Toilers. “We want to win four games this weekend. That is the girls’ goal, so we are one game closer.”

The Toilers wanted to start off the 16-team co-hosted tournament between Peacock and Central with a victory — especially against a team they could face at 4A conference.

“It was a great opportunity to see Johnson,” said Verge.

Despite the score, Peacock struggled to shoot and sink baskets, especially down low near the hoop.

“A lot of the times, we weren’t square to the hoop,” said Verge. “We missed a ton of shots, but you have to keep shooting through that. The worst thing you can do is quit shooting and they didn’t.”

The Toilers are focused on winning their home tournament, but the challenges will continue into Friday and Saturday as they face tougher opponents.

“This is a big deal for the girls. They have set a goal, a very lofty goal for this tournament and we are trying to cross that off,” stated Verge. “Our goal is obviously to win this tournament and that is our focus this weekend.”

Although the goal is big, the team also wants to focus on different areas of their game during this tournament. The focal point will be on developing other systems on offence and defence.

“We are really working on our zone offence,” said Verge. “They gave us the opportunity to do that since they played zone. It was an opportunity to challenge ourselves that way. It was a good step forward.”

Vanier’s comeback falls short

The Vanier Spirits battled back as best they could, but their comeback fell just short.

On Friday night, the Spirits were down by 20 points after the first quarter to Prince Albert St. Mary and lost 53-40 in the end.

“I was disappointed in our first quarter. Other than that, I thought we might have outscored them for the rest of the game. But, when you are down by 20 points after one quarter, it is tough,” stated Bob Gottselig, head coach for Vanier. “We played them tough, we closed the gap at half time. The second half was pretty much even, score-wise.”

The Spirits struggled in the opening quarter, although Gottselig isn’t sure why they did — “I don’t know if they were sleepy or a little unsure or maybe that is what happens with a young team.”

The Spirits will try and take what worked in the second half into their games on Friday and with some added confidence.

“Our game is improving. Other coaches have mentioned to me that we have improved,” said Gottselig. “I am going to take that to the girls and get some confidence to play better.”

Follow me on Twitter @katiebrickman.

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