The Shaunavon Silhouettes are out to a good start to their basketball season and proved that they belonged at a weekend tournament in Swift Current when they won two of their three games against much larger schools.
The Silhouettes won twice at the Swift Current Ardens Basketball Invitational Tournament to place fifth out of eight teams.
"The girls played absolutely awesome,” said coach Michelle Hansen. “I couldn't have asked for anything better. They are, especially the senior girls, my grade 12's, they have been playing this game long enough and when they get into certain situations, they know what to do and they know how to handle it. So I actually rely on their expertise just as much as they rely on mine, it is a small expertise. Yeah I have total confidence in them all the time, they know what needs to be done."
The Silhouettes drew a tough opening game when they lost 61-45 to the hometown team in front of a large crowd of students and teachers Friday afternoon. They rebounded with a 55-35 win over Moose Jaw Vanier Saturday morning. Shaunavon faced Weyburn in the consolation final and edged a quality opponent 69-68.
Hansen felt it was a good start to the season, especially to earn two wins over larger schools.
"It does feel really, really good. You start the season and you never really know what to expect when you see those girls come out to practice, how it is all going to meld together. At the start of every season, I know this one, you are a little apprehensive wondering if it going to be like it was last year. After our first game and our first tournament, just seeing the way the girls came together and the way they played, I knew that maybe this was going to be a good year. So far with the way things have been going it looks like it is going to be okay."
The Silhouettes are led by four grade 12 players.
"Next year when we lose them that is going to be a huge hit to the team so we will hopefully build up those other girls that are coming up as well so we are just as strong."
Hansen said the team will rely on their experience this season.
"Our girls play really good defense, they love that part of the game, so that is a big help. The senior girls, they recognize on the court what needs to be done, who needs the help. Lots of times we knew which two or three players we need to keep an eye out for, so scouting from the outside helps a little bit too. They played their hearts out."
The Silhouettes opened their SWAC league schedule last week with a 71-34 win over Gull Lake. They will play a make-up game against Herbert today, a team that Hansen believes will push them in SWAC this season. She said the goal is to win the league this season.
"It is always to be the top team in the league. I think we tend to look beyond the league as well into Conference and Regionals. Our goal is just to play our hardest and play our best."