Lightning 84 Cougars 51
The Hunting Hills Lightning didn’t treat their neighbours well at all Tuesday evening, now they’ll be pulling for them next week.
The Lightning beat the Notre Dame Cougars 87-51 in Central Alberta High School Boys’ Basketball League action at Hunting Hills, giving themselves a chance to finish first in the zone 4A division. However, they will need the Cougars to defeat the Lindsay Thurber Raiders when the two clash next Tuesday at Lindsay Thurber.
The Cougars could also finish first, but would have to defeat LTCHS by 36 points.
“This score doesn’t help us, we’ll have to win by a whole bunch,” said Cougars head coach Ed Major.
The Lightning were the better team Tuesday, doing a solid job moving the ball and playing good defence.
“That was the case, the only thing that bothered me was too many turnovers,” said Lightning head coach Scott Doan. “We also didn’t take advantage of what was afforded us. We’d get all the way to the hoop at times and then stop. I don’t know if it was because we were scoring too much, or what.”
Still Doan couldn’t be unhappy as the Lightning didn’t look like a team that’s been off for over two weeks.
“I was concerned because we haven’t played for two and a half weeks, but that was pretty good start to the final part of the season. And it won’t get any easier. We play Wetaskiwin Thursday and Leduc (in the LTCHS tournament) Friday. But that’s what you want.”
While Doan was relatively pleased with what he saw, Major would have liked a better defensive effort.
“For some reason we come here and can’t play against that team,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s because we know them to well, are friends with them, but we can’t seem to get past the fact they’re Hunting Hills. Some guys can’t do that.
“Defensive we didn’t play well plus they shot well, but when you leave guys open it doesn’t help.”
“Hopefully this is a wake up call,” said assistant coach Stephen Merredew.
Sean Campbell led the Lightning with 25 points while Mackenzie Wright added 19, Jesse Ross 15 and Linden Petersen 14. Amet Deng had 16 for the Cougars.
Lightning 64 Cougars 45
The girls’ contest was similar to the boys as the Lightning rolled to a 64-45 win and now hope the Cougars can defeat the Raiders Tuesday, but by a considerable amount.
“Thurber defeated them quite handily so we’d have to beat them by a lot,” said Cougars head coach Erika Pottage.
But Lightning head coach Jill de Jonge wasn’t thinking about that, she was just glad to win and gain home court advantage if the two clash in the zone semifinal.
“This was a big game for us,” she said. “I didn’t tell the girls that, but it’s important to get home court advantage.”
Defence was once again the story of the game. The Lightning shut the door for the majority of the game while the Cougars struggled on their end.
“We tried a couple different defences and switched up a lot,” said de Jonge. “We’ve been building toward that and by switching defences it caused some confusion for them and forced some turnovers. It was nice to see that from the defence as we’ve been focusing mainly on our offence, so I didn’t know what to expect.”
Meanwhile, Pottage didn’t like her defence at all.
“We didn’t play defence and were giving them way too many layups,” she said. “But we still have plenty of time (before the playoffs) and defence is something you can work on.
“As well they put a lot of pressure us . . . full court pressure and instead of running our press break we were trying to dribble the ball through it. But we’re young and we just need to clean things up a bit.”
The Cougars were also without point guard Autumn Letkeman, who is out with a concussion. She’s expected back shortly.
Jaden Robinson led the Lightning with 18 points while Zaza Lockhart added 12 and Allie Busch nine. Kirsten Pinkney had 12 and Brooke Hardy 10 for the Cougars.
• In other action, LTCHS swept a doubleheader from Camrose, winning the girls’ contest 75-49 and the boys’ game 51-41.
Kelsey Lalor had 17 points and Lizzy Morneault 16 for the LTCHS girls while Bradi Lorenz hit 19 and Braxton Horbay 13 for Camrose.
Tanner Rehn led the LTCHS boys with 20 points while Jesse Kerr had 20 for Camrose.
• Other girls’ play saw Lacombe get 37 points from Kirsten Ramsay and 14 from Bronwyn Reeves in downing Stettler 66-49.
Jamie Ternes had 19 and Dacia Gramlick 14 for Stettler.