It what will be a playoff match up in a couple of short weeks, there were two different strategies taking shape at Central Collegiate.
For the Assiniboia Rockets, it was more about running through the motions, but not playing a hard pressure game. As for the Central Cyclones, they were determined to play their hardest.
It turned out to be a good performance from the Cyclones as they cruised to a 50-34 win in senior girls basketball action on Thursday evening.
With the win, the Cyclones and the Rockets have an identical 2-7 record with only a couple weeks left before the playoffs.
“We came into this game knowing that it didn’t determine anything in the standings. It didn’t make a difference…they could jump ahead of us into fourth place, but we still have to come here regardless if we are fourth or fifth,” stated Assiniboia’s coach Al Wandler. “We approached this game as pretty laid back, actually. I wanted everyone to play and we didn’t press.”
For the Cyclones, it was a game to utilize what they have been doing in practice and try and bring it into game action. For the most part, the team was able to execute their game plan.
“I think it meant a lot to us, personally, we feel like we haven’t showed our potential yet this season. We have been working hard it practice, but it just hasn’t been passed into games and I think we did show what we are capable of and that was exciting for us,” said Cyclones coach Jocelyn Wigmore.
The Rockets played zone defence for much of the game, where they normally would throw a hard pressure defence at teams to try and create turnovers. Central wasn’t anticipating the zone defence, but were able to adapt early in the game.
“We haven’t spent a lot of time on zone, so it was really awesome to see how the girls adapted and they worked together,” said Wigmore. “I think Paige (Newans), Diana (Lumbala), Dara (DeMarce) and Gabby (Lorge) had an awesome game. They were fighting hard and that inside game definitely helped us win.”
The Cyclones held the lead after each quarter, but the Rockets came close a couple of times during the game. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that Central was able to pull away with the lead.
“I think the girls played with a bit more heart and it showed because we were diving after loose balls and we were hitting the floor. That kind of aggressive is what we need every game,” said Wigmore.
Since these teams have the same record and they won’t be able to catch Vanier for third place, they will face each other in March in the semifinal matchup at Central.
“We will definitely be seeing them in the playoffs and we have seen them three times. I am a little worried about the opposite of seeing a team too much because they get to know you inside and out, but I don’t think it makes much of a difference,” stated Wandler.
In other senior girls action, Peacock defeated Caronport 84-66. Megan Crone led the way with 26 points for Peacock and Leah Hundeby had 18 in the loss. In senior boys basketball action, Central defeated Riverview/Cornerstone 88-43.