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Hunting Hills needs to find post for success

The Hunting Hills Lightning, in the opinion of head coach Jill de Jonge, have the potential to excel under the opposition net this season.

There is, however, somewhat of a stickler.

For starters, the senior high girls basketball squad has to get the ball into position.

“Our strength is at the post, but we’re having trouble finding them,” said de Jonge, following Tuesday’s 42-38 win over the visiting Sylvan Lake H.J. Cody Lakers.

“I do know that we’ll be a hard-working team. I don’t know if we’ll be a fast-break team but I have some good shooters and there is potential — if we can get it under control — to be a fantastic rebounding team.”

The Lightning have three returning posts in Jaden Robinson, Abbey Busch and third-year player Maddie Klootwyk.

Also back for a third-year is point guard Wendy Cortes, while guards Santana Gaudet and Merissa Mand and wing Hanna Delemont are the other returnees.

While de Jonge likes her inside strength and also sees Cortes as a premier guard in the league this season, the Lightning head coach is unsure of her team’s potential in the 2012-13 campaign.

“When you’re trying out different defences and seeing the team’s character and how the players operate together, you wonder if they’re OK with it or if maybe it doesn’t work,” said de Jonge. “It’s hard to tell what’s going to go on, but I do know that all the girls work hard and they’re very keen to learn.

“So I think it’s going to be something where the team now and the team at the end of the season are going to be two completely different teams. There’s just a lot of room for improvement and if we can get the ball to the post we’re going to find a lot of success that way.”

The Lightning, with Cortes dropping in 10 points and Klootwyk and rookie Jayna Mazurin each adding six, improved to 2-0 in league play Tuesday.

Hunting Hills was 1-2 in the Notre Dame tournament last weekend, defeating the host Cougars but falling 49-42 to the Lindsay Thurber Raiders and 55-30 to tournament champion Lethbridge Catholic Central.

The game versus the aggressive Catholic Central team was actually more competitive than the score indicated, said de Jonge.

“We matched up well against them, but you don’t see a lot of zone in our league, especially a three-two zone, and you don’t see a lot of zone press, and that’s what they play,” said the Lightning sideline boss. “It was just our second game of the season and we didn’t have any experience against the zone and had trouble with it.”

Hunting Hills won the Central Zone 4A girls title last year and have the same goal this time around.

“That’s the goal. We definitely want to be coming out of the zone again,” said de Jonge.

The rest of the Hunting Hills senior girls team consists of first-year players Allie Busch, Emily Eisenhawer, Teegan Booth, Katelyn Arter and Rachel Kuz.

Elsewhere Tuesday, host Notre Dame downed the Lacombe Rams 46-38. Details were unavailable.

Meanwhile, host Lindsay Thurber demolished Innisfail 81-15 as Mikayla Morneault scored 18 points and Amy Whitesell had 15. Erin Seater added 13 points for the winners, who also got 11 from Emma Newton, while Sydney Daines led the visitors with seven.

In senior boys play, Notre Dame got 20 points from Amet Deng in a 82-39 rout of Lacombe. Calder Salmon had eight for the Rams.

In another senior boys outing, Lindsay Thurber crushed Innisfail 83-22 as Spencer Klassen led the way with 26 points. Lorne Baile added 10 for the winners and Nolan Lorenz had seven for Innisfail.

• Bretton Bowd and Mel Rawlins each netted 12 points for the Lindsay Thurber Raiders Monday in a 69-31 JV girls victory over the Ponoka Broncs. Zoe Cire had eight points for the losers.

Lindsay Thurber also won the boys match as Justin Van Tetering nailed 16 points in a 74-49 triumph. Ryan Starkey scored 15 for Ponoka, while Mitch Klimer added 14.



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