By Garrett Simmons
For the Times
It was an all-Taber match-up in the bronze-medal game at the 1A south zones boys tournament Saturday at Lethbridge College.
Taber Christian emerged with a 61-58 win over the St. Mary’s Celtics in an exciting conclusion to the season for both teams.
A defensive first half saw Taber Christian hold a 28-16 lead at the break. But St. Mary’s had its offence pour in 26 in the third to trim the deficit to 46-42.
But the comeback fell short in the end, as Taber Christian held on to take third place, thanks to 19 points from Martin Neustaeter, 15 from Dawson Giesbrecht and 11 from Sebastian Hoekstra. Jayden Wiebe also had 10 for Taber Christian.
Alvi Domingo led St. Mary’s with 18, while Rex Bell had 17. Conor Klok and Jorryn Rose had 10 points each.
No. 6 ranked Taber Christian kicked off its tournament last Wednesday with a 72-44 win over No. 3 Senator Gershaw, in the tournament’s first big upset. Unger had 15, Hudson Kooiker had 12, Neustaeter had 11 and Hoekstra added 10 in the win.
No. 2 Pincher Creek’s St. Michael’s ended Taber Christian’s hopes for a gold with a 63-44 win in the semis. Unger had 11 points for Taber Christian in the loss.
No. 4 ranked St. Mary’s started play last Wednesday with a 78-61 win over Bow Island’s St. Michael’s. Domingo scored 24 for the Celtics, while Rose added 17. Bell and Klok both added 12 points.
The Celtics championship hopes ended in the semis, as St. Mary’s ran into a buzzsaw in No. 1 ranked Coaldale Christian. St. Mary’s fell 89-43 in the game, as Coaldale Christian raced out to a 44-22 lead at halftime and kept its foot on the gas the rest of the way. Rose had 14 for the Celtics, as Domingo chipped in with nine.
Coaldale Christian ended up as zone champions, and will represent the south in 1A provincials, along with Pincher Creek St. Michael’s, the zone silver medalist.
In the 2A zone girls tournament, St. Mary’s came in ranked No. 4, and dropped its opening game last week to the No. 5 ranked team in the zone, J.T. Foster, by a score of 66-58.
It was a tight contest right from the start, as the teams battled to a 17-17 draw after one quarter. St. Mary’s held a 28-27 lead going into halftime.
But the game swung in the third quarter, as J.T. Foster outscored St. Mary’s 20-7, as the Taber team’s offence went cold. St. Mary’s put up 23 in the fourth but in the end, the comeback fell just short.
Jayden DeBoer’s nine points in the fourth kept St. Mary’s close, as she finished with 20 in the contest. McKenzie Siemens poured in 13 and Logan Meier finished with 11.
Immanuel Christian Secondary School won the zone title over Kate Andrews, as both teams now advance to the 2A provincials.
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