Local teams shine bright in junior high basketball tournament

By Greg Higgins
December 17, 2017 - 9:30am

The Comp Vikings were able to take advantage of the home court in this weekend’s tournament, as the boy's took second and the girls won it all.

The two-day tournament held at North Battleford Comprehensive High School featured six boys and girls teams from around northwest Saskatchewan.

The Junior Vikings Girls beat rival John Paul II 29-27 in the final match Saturday to go 3-0 on the weekend and take first place. According to girls Vikings head coach Kara Wilkinson, the team is now 6-0 in tournament play this year, which is a pleasant surprise.

“We are only returning five players and none of them got significant playing time last year except for one, so I wasn’t sure what to expect,” Wilkinson said. “We are still playing catch-up as far as the season goes.”

It may seem odd to hear a coach say their team is playing catch-up with a perfect record and two tournament wins, but Wilkinson made note there are improvements to be made.

“I feel like we are not even close to our potential. We just have to eliminate the little mistakes and we can be so much better.”

According to Wilkinson, the final game against JP II was a highly physical battle. She said her team seemed a bit panicked at times, but was able to keep it together for the win with great outside shooting, including going perfect from beyond the arch.

The Junior Viking Boys team didn’t fare quite as well but still came in second on the weekend with a 2-1 record.

Head Coach, Jeff Gibson, said the team was still on a high from their big win last week - the team’s first tournament victory on the weekend circuit in over five years. 

That momentum carried over Friday as the Vikings won their lone game handily against Maidstone, but when faced with stiffer competition Saturday morning, Gibson said the team came out a bit flat.

“I knew coming in that Bishop-Lloyd was a strong team,” Gibson said. “They took it to use really fast right away. We didn’t have an answer for their backcourt.”

The Vikings were able to regroup in the second half and chip an 18 point deficit down to seven, but it wasn’t enough as the Viking still went on to lose the game.

The boys fared much better in their second Saturday game against Meadow Lake beating them by 20 points. The win left both the Vikings and Meadow Lake with 2-1 records, with the tie break going to the Comp in head-to-head record.

According to Gibson, the team needs to work on decision making and reducing turnovers against the really good teams so they can truly compete at the highest level.

 

 

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