Lindale rolls to Bantam basketball title

Matthew Gourlie
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Deep, athletic and talented, the Lindale Lions girls are everything you want from a basketball team.

The Lions haven't lost a game to a team from Saskatchewan in two seasons. They kept that streak intact Saturday as they beat the Cornerstone Christian School Falcons 52-16 to win the South Central District Bantam basketball championship.

"They totally buy in to what we want to do and they work really hard," said Lindale coach Dwight Olney.

The two Moose Jaw teams advanced to the finals in the six-team tournament. The bantam championships featured players from Grades 7-9 for the rural teams, while the Moose Jaw teams had Grade 7 and 8s.

"We have a lot of experience of being on winning teams. Last year they had a perfect season. There's enough of them that just assume they're going to win and that's how they play," said Olney.

Lindale didn't lose a game last season and this season they have lost twice at tournaments — both times to Alexandra Middle School from Medicine Hat.

The Lions play a fast, aggressive brand of defence that generates turnovers and transition points. They were in control early against Cornerstone as their pressure proved too much for the Falcons.

"It is nice to be able to put anyone out there and they're all committed to playing hard defence and running down the floor fast," said Olney.

The Lions are 19-2 on the season and will look to defend their elementary city title in mid-March in what could well be  rematch of the Bantam final.

"We've had good success in the league and I'm really proud of the girls," said Olney.

Cornerstone's Grace Geradts led all scorers with 12 points in the final.

Lindale's Sydney Sperling had 10 points, while Cassidy Bruce and Haley Rosso each had nine and Jenna Armbruster  and Katherine McDougall both had six points.

In the semifinals Lindale beat Central Butte 59-34 and Cornerstone beat Assiniboia 33-29.

"We're not typically a morning team, so we didn't play our best, but it was nice to play a team we hadn't played before," said Olney.

Assiniboia beat Central Butte 48-32 in the third-place game.

Lindale earned a bye in the first round, but Cornerstone beat Mortlach 33-22 and Central Butte beat Gravelbourg 46-33. Mortlach beat Gravelbourg 34-30 in the consolation final.

Organizations: South Central District Bantam, Cornerstone Christian School Falcons, Alexandra Middle School

Geographic location: Lindale, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

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