Making baskets is an important part to a basketball game. Unfortunately for the Assiniboia Rockets, the team decided to go cold at the wrong time.
The Rockets scored just 15 points through three quarters, as the Central Cyclones defeated them 50-24 in high school senior girls basketball quarter-final action on Thursday evening.
“If you can’t shoot, you can’t win,” stated Assiniboia’s coach Al Wandler. “I’m happy with our defence, but our offence…give credit to Central, they played us very well and made us rush shots. But, we still should be able to hit a lot more than we did.”
The Rockets and the Cyclones were tied at nine after the first quarter, but things went downhill from there. Assiniboia scored only two points in the second quarter, four points in the third quarter and then nine in the fourth quarter. Central played tight defence and rallied behind that to create chances on offence.
“It was really exciting to see the girls working so hard, fighting through screens and communicating on defence. I think the defence definitely won us this game,” said Central’s coach Jocelyn Wigmore. “The girls were so hungry for the ball and they were hitting the floor and playing with that hunger that I’ve asked for all season.”
A lot of what makes the Rockets effective didn’t work on Thursday evening, including their press that Central was able to figure out and still control the pace. Since the press didn’t generate a lot of turnovers, the team wasn’t able to get much going on offence either.
“We didn’t generate a lot of out of our press and we got a whole bunch of fouls because of being out of position. Instead of getting fouls by being aggressive on the press, we were out of position in the court-half defence,” Wandler explained. “Those are silly fouls and that is what cost us. We got fouls in bad locations and we couldn’t be aggressive where we should have been. It is very frustrating.”
In the last meeting between these two teams late in the season, Central also won that game and has been building momentum and is hopefully peaking at the right time. However, they have a very difficult test ahead of them as they face the undefeated Peacock Toilers in the semifinal game on Tuesday.
“We have to respect Peacock a lot. They are a very good team and I think going into that game, we need to look at things to make our team better and not look so much for the win,” said Wigmore.
For the Rockets, they are now finished with league play and now turn their focus to 3A play. They will travel to Regina Christian in the next week to compete against other schools in their classification.
“We should go through to the final and that’s really been our focus. It has been our focus the whole year because we knew where we were going to be,” said Wandler. “Our games here, we want to do well, but our focus in this league is competition and good games. This is one of the best leagues in the province and we are very fortunate to be allowed in here.”