Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff

Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff

Hard work and skill to drive Cougars senior boys team

The Notre Dame Cougars might be lacking in senior high boys basketball experience, but they have a host of players with a take-charge mentality. “A lot of our players have played a year or two of JV ball and we have some Grade 12 leadership that made a world of difference for us last year,” said Notre Dame head coach Stephen Merredew, whose host squad defeated Cold Lake Assumption 67-54 in Saturday’s third-place game of the Cougar Classic senior boys tournament.

The Notre Dame Cougars might be lacking in senior high boys basketball experience, but they have a host of players with a take-charge mentality.

“A lot of our players have played a year or two of JV ball and we have some Grade 12 leadership that made a world of difference for us last year,” said Notre Dame head coach Stephen Merredew, whose host squad defeated Cold Lake Assumption 67-54 in Saturday’s third-place game of the Cougar Classic senior boys tournament.

“That’s something I can’t say enough about last year’s zone championship team, that I was able to look up and down the bench and every guy was a leader. Our Grade 12s this year have been around this program and they’ve got to experience what we have to offer and what we expect. They’re good leaders.”

Just two of the Cougars’ Grade 12 players were with the team last season — guard Cody White and forward Josh Ballantyne.

“Cody and Josh were both key contributors for us last year, they weren’t end of the bench guys by any stretch,” said Merredew. “They were solid contributors who we’re going to expect a lot out of this year on and off the court.”

The other seniors — guard Don Sinlao and forwards Franz Credo, Zach Best and Griffin Moline — have come up from the Notre Dame JV program, as have Grade 11 guards Edward Ortiz, Beko Wande, Jeb Maribojoc and Kris LeBlanc, Grade 11 forward Ryan Nielsen and Grade 10 forward Rudy Soffo.

“All of these guys work really hard in practice and they demonstrated a lot of skill in JV,” said Merredew. “They were a good unit together in JV last year. They put up good results and so far they’ve shown that they are buying in and that they want to win.”

As a result, Merredew hasn’t detected a problem with the players transitioning to the senior game.

“Admittedly it’s early in the season and we haven’t faced a lot of tests,” he said.

The visiting Camrose Kodiaks did present the Cougars with a challenge in league play last week, however.

“Camrose was really good with a lot of Grade 10s who are really athletic,” said Merredew, looking back on the 67-62 Notre Dame win. “Camrose brought it all game and we didn’t expect that, to be honest. Our guys got battle-tested early and there’s nothing wrong with a close game early in the season because it sets you up for later in the year.”

Merredew, in his first year as Cougars head coach after serving three seasons as an assistant, sees plenty of potential in his squad.

“If they keep working hard and playing together as a team I think that they’ll like the results,” he said.

• White paced the Cougars with 29 points in the Cougar Classic third-place game.

Airdrie Bert Church was a 76-69 win over Edmonton J. Percy Page in the championship final. Bedford Road of Saskatoon took consolation honours with an 81-23 victory over Prairie Christian Academy of Three Hills.

Just Posted

Downtown Red Deer was packed with people who lined the streets to watch the Westerner Days parade on Wednesday. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Westerner Days parade cancelled, full details on modified event coming June 28

The 2021 edition of Westerner Days will look much different than any… Continue reading

City council wants to hear from the public at a May 25 hearing about whether the temporary homeless shelter should be allowed to remain in the downtown for another year. (Advocate file photo).
City of Red Deer staff to recommend another extension to allow operations at current temporary shelter site

Following some more research city administration has received no other new locations… Continue reading

A scene from the short Western ‘Cheaters, Robbers and Outlaws,’ written and directed by Jason Steele, with support from Telus Storyhive. (Contributed image)
Red Deerians make ‘Cheaters, Robbers and Outlaws’ short Western film

Writer and director Jason Steele received a $20,000 Storyhive grant from Telus

Residents in several neighbourhoods reported little to no water pressure Tuesday night. (File photo by Advocate staff)
City hall to reopen for payments and customer service

Red Deer City Hall will reopen on June 21 for utility and… Continue reading

Char Rausch was selected as this year’s recipient of the Bob Stollings Award, which goes to an employee who has displayed outstanding civic performance in alignment with The City’s Cornerstone Values – Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence. (Photo courtesy City of Red Deer)
Char Rausch wins City of Red Deer Bob Stollings Award

The City of Red Deer is honouring employees differently this year. With… Continue reading

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price stops Vegas Golden Knights' William Karlsson as he is covered by Canadiens' Joel Edmundson during first period of Game 3 of the NHL Stanley Cup semifinal Friday, June 18, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Andreson’s timely scoring, Price’s goaltending give Habs 2-1 series lead over Vegas

Canadiens 3 Golden Knights 2 (OT) (Montreal leads series 2-1) MONTREAL —… Continue reading

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) is defended by Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) as he looks for an opening during the first half of Game 6 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinal series Friday, June 18, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Curry, Harris help 76ers stay alive, hold off Hawks 104-99

76ers 104 Hawks 99 (Series tied 3-3) ATLANTA — Seth Curry hit… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise of a two-dose fall is… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, speaks during a press conference in Ottawa, Thursday, May 13, 2021. Mendicino has announced a new policy to help settle 500 refugees and their families in a news conference today. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year: Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino

Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino announced plans to expedite applications and increase the… Continue reading

Louis Oosthuizen, of South Africa, plays his shot from the third tee during the second round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Friday, June 18, 2021, at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Bland leads at Torrey and shows the US Open is truly open

SAN DIEGO — The U.S. Open prides itself on being the most… Continue reading

The Prime Minister's car waits outside the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg Tuesday, May 19, 2009. The head of the Public Health Agency of Canada is showing no sign he'll release unredacted documents about the firing of two scientists at Canada's highest security laboratory — despite the prospect of being publicly shamed in the House of Commons for his refusal to turn them over. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
PHAC head maintains he’s bound by law not to release docs on fired scientists

OTTAWA — The head of the Public Health Agency of Canada is… Continue reading

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant in Canada

OTTAWA — The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly… Continue reading

Various vaping nicotine e-liquids or "juice" are shown in a lab at Portland State University in in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, April 16, 2019. The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products… Continue reading

Most Read