The Leduc Composite High School senior girls’ basketball season has come to an end, but the season was a thrilling ride to be a part of. It was a season filled with promise, hope, failures, and many successes. The Lady Tigers have continued to raise many eyebrows in the Alberta basketball community with a gritty and competitive style of play. A combination of hard defense, fast breaks, and strong post play epitomized a season of surprise for some of the teams who thought the success of last year’s team was a fluke. They found out this was not the case as this year’s team jumped from a ninth place finish out of 13 teams in the highly competitive Tier 1 league last year to fifth place this season with a 7-5 record.
Other than a disappointing loss to Harry Ainlay early in the season, the team only suffered losses to the top four teams in the league, of which all are ranked in the top 10 4A provincial rankings. Leduc is a small 4A school and through the hard work of athletes and coaches at different levels (Leduc Community Basketball, junior high schools, and the LCHS junior basketball program) the team has put together a brand of basketball that is fun to watch.
Some larger schools are able to draw athletes from all over Edmonton and the surrounding areas, but LCHS is mainly built from local players. The success of the team has drawn college coaches from Edmonton, Red Deer, Camrose, and Saskatchewan to games and practices in order to get a close up look at the Tiger players.
The Tigers entered the playoffs with a very optimistic mindset. They had been playing very well as of late and knew they had a shot at beating provincially ranked Paul Kane High School from St. Albert. They had the extra motivation knowing that a win would also give them a spot in the provincial tournament taking place in Red Deer March 17-19.
The team started off strong getting an early lead from a stingy defense and also team play on the offensive end of the court. A 10 point lead was built, but Paul Kane fought back to close the gap and trail by only three points at the half. The St. Albert team was hot in the third quarter striking from three point land when Leduc became a bit lazy closing out on shooters. The game remained tight right to the end with Leduc eventually coming up a bit short 71-65.
In the end the team should walk away proud of their efforts and with what they accomplished throughout the season, in league and tournament play. The team loses over half of their team to graduation and there are a number of young ladies working on their game in the offseason hoping to fill the spots that are now vacant. Next season may just be as exciting as this one. Best wishes to all the girls who are moving on and have given up their time and energy to the LCHS Tiger basketball program.