Hard work and hot hands put Peacock in semis

Matthew Gourlie
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Second half sinks Central; Vanier wins on consolation side

The Peacock Toilers put together a strong 40-minute performance Friday.

Now they will carry the city’s hopes for a title at the Moose Jaw Invitational Senior Girls Basketball Tournament following their 82-41 win over Swift Current in their quarter-final game. They will now face Prince Albert St. Mary in Saturday’s semifinal.

The Central Cyclones couldn’t parlay a strong first half into a semifinal berth Friday. The Cyclones lost 54-42 to Prince Albert Carlton in their quarter-final.

“I thought the first half was really good,” said Central coach Jocelyn Wigmore. “We definitely improved from Thursday and came out with more intensity. We knew Carlton would play really strong defence and I thought the girls did a good job of adjusting to that in the first half.”

Central will face Regina Luther at noon today.

In the consolation side of the draw Vanier beat Weyburn 51-43.

Peacock 82 Swift Current 41

The Toilers were too much for Swift Current as the trio of Macaela Crone, Caitlyn Kitts and Libby Epoch carried the offensive load and all of the Toilers were consistently good on defence.

“We weren’t quite as explosive as we normally are (Thursday), so that was our key — to explode. We were able to mix up our presses and our defence resulted in some great offence. That was our goal, so I think we accomplished it,” said Peacock coach Renee Verge.

Peacock’s dynamic trio accounted for their first 35 points of the game.

Crone led the way with 27 points, while Kitts added 25 points and Epoch had 13 points.

Defensively the Toilers put in a great team effort. Despite liberally substituting for the entire second half, Peacock only allowed 10 points to the Ardens after the half.

“Our whole focus this weekend is defence and I think our kids are starting to buy in. We’re going to get offensive breaks by playing good, solid defence. I can’t ask for better defence than what we had there,” said Verge.

Carlton 54 Central 42

Central took a 24-23 lead into the break, but a poor third quarter was their undoing. They made two shots from the field and a pair of free throws and Carlton enjoyed a 39-30 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

“Our third quarter absolutely killed us,” said Wigmore. “If you’re going to score six points in a quarter you’re not going to win basketball games.”

The Cyclones didn’t quit. They put together a good run and cut the Carlton lead to 44-39 with four minutes left, but were unable to get any closer. They struggled to take care of the basketball in the face of Crusaders pressure down the stretch and it cost them any chance of a comeback.

“At times we’re forcing paces and it’s like we just want to get rid of it when we should be looking to keep it or we’re keeping the ball when we should be getting rid of it,” said Wigmore. “I think that just comes from experience and playing tougher teams.”

With their win, Vanier will now meet Meath Park in the consolation semifinal (10:30 a.m., Peacock). The consolation final will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday.

It was a close game in the first half, but Vanier was able to extend their lead to seven points by the end of the third quarter.

Abbi Flanagan led them with 14 points, while Amanda Miller and Emily Reidy combined to score 13 of Vanier’s first 16 points of the game to help them grab an early lead.

Geographic location: Swift Current, Moose Jaw, Meath Park

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