It wasn’t just tears of happiness that streamed down the five senior faces of the Peacock Toilers, it was also tears of exhaustion, hard work, a little bit of sadness, but also the taste of sweet victory for the third year in a row.
“All that emotions and tears is because they are sad that it is coming to an end. Those Grade 12s have been with us the last three years and they know what the feeling is like and how exciting it is,” said Toilers coach Renee Verge. “They know how much of a privilege it is to play in the city championship in this incredible environment.”
The Toilers remained perfect in league play with an 83-47 victory over the Vanier Spirits in the high school senior girls basketball league final on Tuesday evening at SIAST.
“Our team goal was to win the city championship and we've done a lot of things right along the road to get here and for them to play well and finish as strong as they did in the final, it is exactly what we were after,” stated Verge. “We wanted this to be a team effort and I thought we had a team effort. Everyone was able to hit the floor and that was very exciting.”
For the Spirits, they will gladly take the silver medal, as they realized playing against Peacock was going to be a very difficult test after an up and down season.
“I was very proud of them. We gave it our best shot and that's all I could ask for,” said Vanier’s coach Bob Gottselig. “Peacock is a good team. They shoot well, they move the ball well, they handle the ball well...they do everything well. They play good defence. They are a formidable opponent and we were honoured to be on the floor with them.”
The Spirits focused on using this game to finish on a high note, but also have fun and enjoy the experience. For three Vanier athletes, this will finish their high school careers and Gottselig was happy the team played well for them.
“Being nervous and afraid has not helped us to this point in the season. It is the last game of the year and wanted to go out and have fun,” he said. "It was kind of an unwritten goal that we wanted to get here. I was really happy that their careers for them ended in front of the Moose Jaw fans.”
The Toilers use each season to address and set new goals instead of focusing on the past. Although it has been a three-peat for the program, they didn’t pay attention to that. They also didn’t focus on being undefeated in league play heading into this game.
“We knew what we wanted in the end. We never thought about being undefeated...we came in with confidence, not cockiness,” said Peacock senior Megan Crone. “We came mentally prepared. We came early and had a team meeting. We prepared as a team and we were so focused in practice.”
The Toilers will host regionals this weekend and have hopes of going to Hoopla.
“We have four of the biggest games of our season ahead of us and we started on that journey Tuesday,” said Verge. “We started with a win and we are working hard for four more wins.”