The Rebels squared off against the hosts on Friday night and earned a 15-point victory.
“It was a battle most of the game. We never gave up the lead, but we were never able to pull away either, keeping about a 10-point lead until close to the end,” said Greg Bowes, head coach of the W.R. Myers Rebels varsity boys basketball team.
“We had faced them a week earlier in the league final at home and came away with a relatively easy 35-point win, but we knew they would play much better and tougher at home which we were prepared for and we were able to advance.”
The zone championship final was against Winston Churchill Bulldogs, in which the Rebels suffered a 23-point loss.
“We came out completely flat in the final and had zero intensity, got pushed around physically and out worked on both ends of the floor. We didn’t play with the competitive edge that we need to in order to win on a stage like that,” said Hughes.
“We found ourselves down by 17 at half, and the second half was much the same, never being able to get any traction.”
Tom Johnson led the team in scoring with 46 points in the tournament. Brody Jensen was able to add 24 points and grabbed just as many boards despite being in foul trouble early in both games. Nathan Bennett played great minutes scoring 19 points in each game and was a menace on defence according to Bowes. Ethan Robbins, Wyatt Adams, and Wyatt Bennett all provided solid defence and made good decisions with the ball. Grade 10 player Blake Bullock had many smart possessions and was more aggressive on the boards.
“We had solid performances by all our players, but our compete factor was at zero, especially in the final, which led to the disappointing result,” said Bowes.
The Rebels boys advance to provincials which are being hosted by Winston Churchill in Lethbridge this year, with some games at Wilson School as well. The Rebels go into the provincial tournament ranked third. The top four seeds earn a bye into the quarter-final, making for the Rebels first game being on Friday at noon at Wilson Middle School. Rebels will square off against the winner of number-six seed Sturgeon Spirits (Edmonton Zone) and number-11 seed Barrhead Gryphons (North Central Zone).
“I really like the position we are in, we have worked hard during the season to earn a top-four provincial seed and have the opportunity to scout our first opponent on Thursday and have an extra day of rest,” said Bowes. “That was something we wanted after going into last year’s provincials ranked number five and having to play an extra game on Thursday. We felt that last year we ran out of gas in the provincial semi-final and we wanted to make sure we stacked the deck as best we could for success this year. I really feel like our best ball of the year is going to be played this weekend. We have had a lot of success this season but I know we have another gear and have been saving it for provincials.”