The Swift Current Comp. Ardens finished with a 1-1 record at a 4A Girls Basketball Conference tournament in Saskatoon last weekend. The top-four finish at the seven-team event was enough to extend their season for Regionals this weekend.
They advanced with an 85-31 win over North Battleford John Paul II in the Conference quarterfinals. The Ardens led 26-6 after one quarter and extended their lead to 47-14 at halftime. Grade 12 forward Shay Smith led the Ardens with 19 points, followed by an 18-point performance from grade 11 forward Cheyenne Kendall.
“We really exploited our size advantage and our post players really dominated in the paint,” explained Ardens coach Andrew Herrick.
The Ardens met Meadow Lake in the semi-final and suffered a 59-43 loss to the highly ranked northern squad. The Ardens trailed 32-21 at halftime and 43-30 after three quarters as they were unable to cut into the lead. Grade 11 guard Shae-Lynn Bolton led the Ardens with 15 points, followed by fourth-year forward Emilie Erlandson with 13 points.
Meadow Lake is an athletic team that was ranked third in the province in the February Top-10 independent rankings.
“The biggest difference in the game was in the opening minutes where they jumped all over us and got a quick 10-point lead,” said Herrick. “After we weathered their initial full court pressure we played them fairly even the rest of the way and had we been able to consistently finish at the rim we could have given ourselves an opportunity to win.”
The Ardens will play in a four-team Regional tournament this weekend, where they will need to win both games to advance to Hoopla in Saskatoon the following weekend.
“On the positive side this weekend we finally showed a willingness to compete for an entire 40 minutes. Now if we can keep that same level of intensity next weekend and increase our execution we have a chance to beat anyone,” said Herrick.