The LCHS Senior Girls season opened on November 23 with an exhibition win 70-60, in overtime, over the Sabres from Wetaskiwin Comp. “It was obviously an early season game as we were not particularly sharp, except for the overtime, where the Tigers took control”, said Coach Mark May.
Regulation time saw a 56-56 tie but the Tigers prevailed 14-4 in the 5-minute overtime. “The intensity and desire on the team was most evident in the OT, they took command”, added assistant coach Cassia Mitchell. Assistant coach Dan Raitz added, “Wetaskiwin is a pretty young team this year and should be formidable next year and the year after. Katie Ballhorm, a Grade 10 rookie, is already clearly a leader. Yet another very athletic Ballhorn – that’s the only way they come.”
The 18th Annual Mike Dea Sr. Basketball Tournament at St. Francis Xavier provided the opportunity for the Tigers to gain greater conditioning and gel as a unit in pre-season play. In the four games played the Tigers went 3-1, finishing fifth in the 12-team tournament.
The first game saw Leduc prevail over Prince George, B.C. 81-56 but drop a 65-50 decision to Luther College from Saskatoon before rebounding to a 81-56 win over the Bert Church Chargers from Airdrie. “Save the first few minutes, probably the best game we have played so far. No single standout player, still plenty of errors, but good intensity in a solid win over a decent team,” summarized coach May. The fifth place game saw the Tigers prevail over Bishop O’Byrne from Calgary 43-34 in a game which revealed their shooting touch can still receive attention. In the skills competitions, Allison Raitz finished second out of 12 shooters in the three point shooting competition and Jolene Vlieg was named one of five tournament all-stars.
Season (Mondays and Wednesdays) play begins Dec. 7 with the first of four home games against Strathcona at 5 p.m. This is followed by Paul Kane (St. Albert) on the 9th (6:30 p.m.), Harry Ainlay (5 p.m.) on the 14th and Arch Bishop Jordan (Sherwood Park) on the 16th at 6:30 p.m.
The Tigers will be playing in Division I of the Metro Edmonton High School Athletic Association for the second year in a row. “Playing Division I is tough, there are no easy games. If you don’t show up any team in this division can beat you. Last year we were 5-8 and we were not unhappy but at times it was a trial by fire.”
At least a handful of the teams will likely be ranked in the top 10 provincially, either 3A or 4A. “Making the playoff round (top eight of 13 teams) is achievable by this group but only if they bring their A game”, forecasted May.
The LCHS Sr. Girls hosted the Strathcona Lords Monday Dec. 7 and hung on for a victory in a see-saw game, prevailing 63-54. “Clearly early season play by both teams but it was a full team effort that netted the win”, observed Coach Mark May. “It was fairly crucial to have players coming off the bench to maintain our offensive punch and defensive tenacity – depth is one of our strengths”, added Assistant Coach Cassia Mithchell. “Strong inside play by Emma van Bruinessen, Hannah Mitchell and a timely soft shooting touch by Danika May did make a difference”, added Assistant Coach Dan Raitz.
The Tigers were scheduled host the Paul Kane Blues December 9 and planned to the BP Classic December 11-12 at Camrose Composite High School.