Hunting Hills senior basketball program growing as season progresses

There’s a lot of learning happening with the Hunting Hills Lightning senior high school basketball program.

The girls, while 6-5 on the year including tournament and regular season play, are still trying to figure out their offensive rhythm.

“Patience. Right now just running the offence that we want to run,” said head coach Jill de Jonge.

“Right now we’ve got a few specials that we just introduced. They’re pretty fresh. It’s tough going right now but we still have a month and a half until playoffs.”

The girls won 67-35 against Notre Dame on Thursday. Both Jessie Handley Sarah Stahl had 14 points and Amy Busch added 12.

On the boys side, a real emphasis on an up-tempo style has resulted in growing pains, and a 1-4 record in league play.

“It’s tough, because these boys want to think instead of react,” said coach Kevin de Jonge. “So I have to get them out of that one-second deer in a headlights look and get them moving the ball. We struggle when we don’t move the ball.”

The boys lost 65-44 to the Notre Dame Cougars on Thursday.

Their push-the-offence pace has shown signs of life in the two games that they used the system, and any progress is good progress, said Kevin.

“Any coach is looking for 40 minutes of effort. We have 25, maybe 26 minutes of effort right now. We just need to get those other 14 minutes,” he said.

“We’re trying to play up-tempo and speed up the opposition and let them make the mistake instead of us making the mistake. We’re new at it, it’s starting to come around now. I liked what I saw and I think we can build off it.”

He said now at the halfway point of the year, it’s more of a rebuilding season for his team as they have mostly Grade 11s and 10s in their lineup.

The senior girls, on the other hand, have just 10 players on their squad, and four returning players. Jill de Jonge said they learned so many lessons from the graduating players last year, they hit the ground running this season.

“We’ve got four returners, so relatively young,” she said. “They are leading my team in scoring. With my height, rebounding is probably one of our strengths. That’s one of the things we are trying to key on is be strong on the boards.”

She added the biggest asset for her team so far has been their play on the defensive side of the ball and their work ethic.

“It doesn’t take a lot to light a fire under them. They’re little go-getters, little rabbits. I haven’t coached a team like that for a while, they’re little fireballs,” said Jill.

Ultimately, the girls are looking for a provincial berth.

“We want to go to provincials so we have to win our zone. Because we’re not hosting this year only one goes,” she said.

“The girls are on board with that. They want to be qualifying. Representing at provincials and competing there.”

byron.hackett@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Red Deer College waiting for feds to finalize marijuana legalization

Like businesses, Alberta and municipal governments, Red Deer College is waiting for… Continue reading

Class size only part of the problem say Central Alberta teachers

Though the Alberta auditor general’s report points out that classroom sizes continue… Continue reading

Lacombe County promoting crime prevention measures

County pushing Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design principles

Red Deer doctor concerned about patient transfers to rural hospitals

Family physician says the move creates less incentive for expansion at Red Deer hospital

Fire permit season begins in March

Earlier springs in last few years prompted Alberta government to move up fire permit season

WATCH: Red Deer’s River Bend upgrades officially open

River Bend Golf and Recreation Area is the latest venue to be… Continue reading

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Stores make push in scan and go tech, hope shoppers adopt it

NEW YORK — Shoppers at self-checkout lanes scanning all their groceries after… Continue reading

‘Stars seemed to have aligned’ for new Halifax CFL bid, commissioner says

HALIFAX — CFL fans in Halifax have been told the league is… Continue reading

The language of ‘Black Panther’? It’s real. Give it a try.

OTTAWA — The military’s top general has promised to get to the… Continue reading

New execution date set for Georgia’s ‘stocking strangler’

ATLANTA — A man known as the “stocking strangler,” who was convicted… Continue reading

Man says he kicked Chevy Chase in self-defence in dispute

SOUTH NYACK, N.Y. — A New York man says he kicked Chevy… Continue reading

Supporters of Tina Fontaine’s family march in Winnipeg to support her family

WINNIPEG — Hundreds marched through the streets of Winnipeg on Friday in… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month