Cyclones get big test in LIT tournament
Having a lot of options in a team’s arsenal late in the season is important.
© Katie Brickman
Steph O'Byrne of the Central Cyclones tries to block a shot from Madeleine McDougall of the Peacock Toilers during senior girls high school basketball action on Thursday night. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman
The Peacock Toilers still have one league game as well as a tournament left, but the senior girls team continues to look for ways to improve.
“Our focus was zone. We don’t like playing zone, but it is something you have to have in your defensive scheme. We forced ourselves to do that in the fourth quarter,” explained Renee Verge, head coach for Peacock. “With that comes some little hiccups, but I am glad we made ourselves do it.”
The Toilers played a strong game, defeating the Central Cyclones 77-48 in senior girls high school basketball action on Thursday night.
“Our movement on offence was much better. That is something we came in focusing on and I think we achieved that,” said Jocelyn Wigmore, head coach for Central. “Our turnovers were a little less than they usually are, but that is something we have to work on, but definitely an improvement.”
The Toilers are very much a run-and-gun type of team with fast break points being their bread-and-butter play. They gain that momentum on offence by playing tight man defence. However, by playing the zone defence, pushed them to play stronger as a unit.
“Philosophically, we all as coaches like man-to-man,” said Verge. “That being said, there are times when a zone can really help you defensively and if you haven’t played it in a game situation when you need it, it can really catch up to you.”
The Cyclones were looking for a game that combined everything they have been working in practice — an area they have struggled with since January.
“We came into this game wanting to find ourselves again. After our home tournament, we feel like we’ve been lost,” said Wigmore. “We’ve had some really good practices that hasn’t transferred into games.”
The Toilers are happy with where they are headed at this point in the season. Their bench players saw a lot of court action against the Cyclones as well.
“We have a real team effort right now. All the kids are contributing. I think we are heading in the direction we wanted to go. Right now, at this point of the season, we are where we want to be … playing good play,” said Verge.
The Cyclones are still working on their mental game and will get a chance to work on that focus on Friday when they play Luther College at the LIT Challenge Cup tournament in Regina.
“We play Luther in front of a thousand fans. It is a really intense game. We are pretty excited about that,” said Wigmore. “I think our game against Luther will just be an experience in general, but also for our standings and conference. It is a big game for us. I think gaining momentum and confidence will be huge.”
Macaela Crone led all scorers with 26 points and Paige Newans had 14 points in the loss.