Spirits open season with win

Katie Brickman
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Rockets attempt the second half comeback

Vanier Katelyn Binner crashes into Bailey Sognesand of the Assiniboia Rockets as she tries to go to the hoop in senior girls basketball league action on Tuesday evening. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman

It took awhile to get out the first game nerves, but the Assiniboia Rockets tried to make it interesting late. With some high expectations for the season, the Rockets had some difficulties on both sides of the court as the Vanier Spirits held on for the 65-60 victory in senior girls basketball action on Tuesday evening.

“I was pleased with our team’s play since it was our first game of the year,” said Vanier’s head coach Bob Gottselig. “I was pleased with what happened on the court.”

The Rockets were hoping to end a losing streak against the Spirits, but just couldn’t get much going offensively until the second half, after they put in a press that panicked Vanier and created turnovers.

“We weren’t doing anything in the first half, so we put that press in. The girls really wanted to try it, so I put it in to see if it would get them to move their rear ends because we were not playing defence at all in the first half,” stated the Rockets head coach Al Wandler. “We had no spark on offence, so I thought maybe that would provide us with a spark. It sure did. Got to be happy with the second half.”

The game was close throughout the four quarters with Vanier up by six points at the half. The Rockets tried their best to close the gap, using the press to cause the Spirits to rush their possession. Vanier hadn’t practiced a press break for very long and that is one area they will be working on for next game.

“They put that pressure on and it did what it was suppose to do — create some panic in our girls. We will get better,” stated Gottselig.

The Rockets held a tournament in Assiniboia over the weekend and had the same issue — starting out slow and facing a deficit at the half. The difference on Tuesday evening was the team’s ability to bounce back and attempt the comeback.

“The problem is they are coming out flat and this is the second game in a row. This is very frustrating for them and as a coach because they know if they play the game the way they do in the second half, we are undefeated on the season,” said Wandler. “My half time speech was loud, but they responded. They could have caved and turtled, but they didn’t. They have some big goals for this season and they know they are going to have to play harder to reach that goal.”

For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.

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