For the past six years, the Lindale Lions have made it to the elementary basketball city final. This time, they faced a different opponent, but they won the title in convincing fashion on Tuesday evening.
“It wasn’t the cleanest game we’ve played all year, but the girls got it done,” said Lindale’s coach Dwight Olney.
The Lions defeated the South Hill Ticats 64-31 to claim the trophy at Central Collegiate. The Ticats are combined of students from Westmount and Empire and they defeated King George to make it to the final.
“They did a good job to beat King George to get to the final. It seemed like they were missing one of their star players until the end of the game there,” said Olney. “This is the first time we’ve played them in the final…it is usually King George or Palliser. We’ve been in the city final for the past six years and we’ve won every second year.”
The Lions were made up of four Grade 8 students and six returning players for next season. With a good core coming back, the Lions are already focusing on next season and making it to the city final again.
“We have a good core and it is always our goal at the beginning of the year to win the city and we’ve talked about that since day one,” he stated. “We look up at the banners on the wall and that is our goal.”
It was a special season for Olney on a personal level, as he has never been part of a team that went undefeated.
“This is the first time in 29 years of coaching that I’ve had a perfect season. The girls went 20-0 and it has been a fun ride,” he said. “The girls worked very hard, were very coachable and very teachable. They wanted to learn new things and wanted me to treat them like high school players. Since I coached high school for 23 years, I really don’t know how to coach any other way. It was a really close group of girls and everyone got along well.”
Macaela Crone scored 23 points for the Lions and Jaycee Ludke score 19 points in the win. In the loss, Rayne Laboccetta led the way with six points.
In the third place game, King George defeated Cornerstone 37-30.