It was just the fourth time the team had played together, yet the Crusaders Grade 7 basketball team made up of students from Holy Family, Notre Dame, and Ecole Monseigneur Blaise Morand won a gold medal at an eight-team tournament in Lloydminster last weekend.
They won all three games, including winning the gold medal game by 20 points.
"I kind of knew they were an athletic bunch," head coach Shalen Fox said. "This was a good weekend, where they got to spend the whole day with each other and were able to become closer and get more comfortable with each other."
This is the second year that Fox has coached a Grade 7 team made up of students in the local school division (he also coaches the senior boys team at JP II). Last year, there was one team, but this year there are two teams of 10.
The team only practices once a week right now, and they had just played their first exhibition game last Wednesday.
The goal is just for the kids to have fun.
"[We're] just promoting basketball," Fox said. "Hopefully they have fun and it's something they want to try out."
Another positive from the weekend was everybody got playing time.
"Everybody was getting regular shifts," Fox said. "We were just able to have consistent 10 guys going through, so five and five, subbing off fresh. Having a little bit of size helps, too. We had some taller guys that were able to get rebounds and make lay-ups."
Fox said the schedule for this team doesn't pick up until after the senior Crusaders season ends.
There are some exhibition games planned for March, and then a tournament in late April and early May in Saskatoon.
"Middle of March is when we'll practice twice a week," Fox said. "There's always room for improvement. I think just bonding and getting to know each other, as they're coming from different schools, that's one of the things."
On Twitter: @NathanKanter11
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