Spirits fall to Cyclones

Katie
Katie Brickman
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Teams get set for conference tournaments this weekend

Playoffs are all about gaining momentum at the right time.

Emma Waldenberger of Vanier drives to the basket for a layup as Gabby Lorge of Central defends during senior girls basketball action on Tuesday night. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman

Although the senior girls high school playoffs don’t begin until Thursday, both Vanier and Central were trying to play their best games of the season.

“We were really happy with our game,” said Bob Gottselig, head coach for Vanier. “The score didn’t reflect how well we played.”

The Central Cyclones used their press defence to create turnovers and score quick points, en route to a 77-38 victory over the Spirits.

“Our press was working really well and the girls were able to get a lot of turnovers that resulted in easy baskets, which obviously helps us out and devastates them a little bit,” said Jocelyn Wigmore, head coach for Central. “I think we got everybody in and we are happy with a 39-point win.”

There was only a five-point difference between the two teams after the first quarter, but Central took a bigger lead after the second quarter and never looked back.

“Give credit to Central, they made good on the opportunities that we gave them when we gave them an opportunity,” said Gottselig. “To a certain extent, the ball didn’t fall for us as well as it possibly could have.”

This game didn’t mean much in terms of final standings in the league, but both teams came out hard and focused on areas that still needed work.

“I think for us, we were taking care of the ball too and we weren’t turning it over. That is something we have been focusing on,” said Wigmore. “We just talked about the turnovers and just making sure we were aggressive on defence.”

The Spirits had a different approach prior to this game — they didn’t pick up a basketball for eight days.

“I was a little worried about how we would look, but I was pleased with how the team played,” said Gottselig. “We didn’t always convert, but maybe we can blame that on the eight days that we had off, but the girls executed the game plan and the systems that we wanted them to.”

For the Cyclones, this was a good game to gain some extra momentum as they head to Swift Current this weekend to play in the 4A girls conference tournament. They open up against Regina Luther on Friday afternoon.

“We have had a good couple of weeks of ball and we are happy with the way we are playing,” said Wigmore. “This is where we want to be heading into playoffs.”

For the Spirits, they will host Assiniboia in the fifth versus fourth playoff seeding on Thursday night. They will then head to Swift Current to also compete in the 4A conference. They open that tournament against the hosts on Friday evening.

“I guess our season is one the line and nothing is nothing to save it for anymore,” said Gottselig. “The last two games that will determine where our season goes.”

Diana Lumbala had a game high 23 points in the win and Abbi Flanagan had 15 in the loss.

In other senior girls action, Caronport defeated Assiniboia 68-49. Both teams played their bench a lot of time and 18 players got on the score sheet. Kennedy Kuntz had a game high 18 points for Caronport and Sheridan Mergel had 11 in the loss.

In senior boys action, Central defeated Vanier 86-52. The Vikings were without Tristan Diggins, but Zach Konopaki scored 16 in the loss and Dax Whitehead had 29 points in the win.

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