Young Ardens learn lessons in North Battleford

Steven Mah
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SCCHS Colts & Ardens

A young Swift Current Comp. Senior Ardens basketball team learned a few lessons during a weekend tournament in North Battleford. The Ardens, who had two gold medals in their past three tournament outings, placed fifth after dropping their first game of the weekend.

They opened the tournament with a 57-38 loss to Prince Albert St. Mary after scoring only 12 points in the second half. The game was tied 24-24 at half time and was a back-and-forth affair until the Marauders went on a run in the middle of the third quarter and the Ardens couldn’t find a response.

Grade 12 guard Shae-Lynn Bolton led the Ardens with 15 points, grade 10 guard Jade Addai added seven points, and grade 12 forward Cheyenne Kendall chipped in five points.

“The girls learned we can’t have lapses in concentration against quality teams,” said coach Andrew Herrick. “We struggled for three or four minutes and all of a sudden we were down by 15 and that’s tough to come back against when you are playing a good team.”

The loss cost the Ardens a chance to play on the top half of the draw. “I think it showed us that if we don’t do the little things right and play together we can take ourselves out of a game. The girls were definitely frustrated but we learned from it and look forward to another opportunity to play them,” said Herrick.

The Ardens responded in the consolation semi-final with a 47-32 win over Meadow Lake. Bolton and Grade 12 guard Shania Jensen led the way with 11 points and Addai added nine.

“The Meadow Lake game was a game you could tell our veterans really wanted to win as Meadow Lake knocked us out in the regional final last year,” explained Herrick. “We still struggled a little bit to score the ball, but our team defense was phenomenal and kept us in the game until the girls found their groove. It was a great bounce-back win to regain some confidence after a tough loss on Friday night.”

The Ardens, who were recently ranked fifth among 4A teams in Saskatchewan, concluded the tournament with a 66-47 win over Prince Albert Carlton, the seventh ranked team in the province.

The Arden made 10 three-pointers, including six from Bolton to account for all 18 of her points. Grade 11 guard Katie Darlington-Kuebler knocked down four shots from beyond the arc and finished with a team-high 21 points. Addai added 13 points in the win.

“Anytime shots are consistently falling from behind the arc it makes the game so much easier. Our ability to hit a few threes in the second and third quarter really opened the floor for us and allowed us to execute our offense at a high level,” said Herrick.

“Defensively we made some adjustments at half time and limited them to 15 points in the second half.  When we dig in defensively and hit outside shots we are a tough team to beat.”

The Ardens improved to 17-5 over the weekend. Their next action will be a Conference Tournament at home on February 28 – March 1 to open the provincial playoffs.

Organizations: SCCHS, Ardens Basketball, SHSAA

Geographic location: North Battlefords, Swift Current, Saskatchewan

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