Lacombe Ram Sammi Lesyk

Lacombe Ram Sammi Lesyk

Lightning gets an ‘old’ coach with new outlook

It shouldn’t be a surprise to see Scott Doan back coaching the Hunting Hills Lightning senior boys’ basketball team.

Hunting Hills 93 Lacombe 66

It shouldn’t be a surprise to see Scott Doan back coaching the Hunting Hills Lightning senior boys’ basketball team.

Although he jokes about being pushed back into coaching after Stephen Pottage had to step down because of work commitments, he admits he loves it and if he ever retired from his job at the Red Deer Remand Centre he’d have to coach two teams to fill his time.

But when the 55-year-old did come back for his 31st year on the bench he brought a different outlook.

“Instead of just looking at the guys height and skill, the main thing I wanted was guys with a great attitude,” he said.

“I picked guys who wanted to be here and show up with that attitude every day. I have a practice and there’s 12 guys there.

“We haven’t won as much as we would like and had a 4-5 record at Christmas, but we’re still happy and the guys are working hard.

“We lost by 30 to Thurber (Lindsay Thurber Raiders) earlier in the year then came back and beat them by one, so it’s improving all the time.”

Doan has only two returnees from last season — Grade 12 Orrin Farries and Grade 11 point guard Mike Ward.

Josh Loney, Ryan Myles and Tim Pratt are the other Grade 12s, all of whom Doan coached two years ago in JV.

The Lightning also have three players in from area schools.

Six-foot-seven Dallas Hancox moved in from Sylvan Lake with Grade 10s Sean Campbell and Jesse Ross in from Eckville.

“Sean and Jesse have a lot of talent and will make an impression as they gain experience,” said Doan, who also likes what he sees from Hancox.

“He’ll work inside, but he also has the ability to step outside and shoot,” said Doan.

“I can easily see him as a college player.”

Doan sees Loney has one of his top outside shooters.

Jarret Gouw, Kevin Stevens, Danny Henry and Joel Peterson, all in Grade 11, round out the roster.

The Lightning evened their overall record with a 93-66 win over the Lacombe Rams in Central Alberta High School Basketball League play Thursday at Hunting Hills.

Hancox led the Lightning with 26 points while Loney added 17.

The female edition of the Lightning also have only four Grade 12s on the roster and seven Grade 11s.

Three of the returning Grade 12s — Teighan Ponto, Brittani Blake and Jada Wright — will be looked at as team leaders both on and off the court. The fourth senior is point guard Carly Kolesnik, who transferred in from Innisfail.

“Our Grade 12s are very strong,” said Lightning head coach Jill de Jong. “We have the majority of our starting lineup back from last season.”

The Lightning are off to a solid start to the season as they placed third in both the Bert Church tournament in Airdrie and Notre Dame tournament.

Two of the Grade 11s — six-foot post player Maddie Klootwyk and point guard Wendy Cortes — are in their second year with the team.

Maddie is our tallest player and gives us size inside, but we have several other girls who are around five-foot-11 or five-ten,” said de Jong. “So overall we’re pretty tall.”

Abby Busch, who previously transferred in from Sylvan Lake, will also work in the post.

Shooting guards Santana Gaudet and Merissa Mand, small post Jayna Mazurin and forward Hanna Delemont round out the roster.

“So far we’re OK with our ultimate goal to win the zone championship and qualify for the provincials,” said de Jong. “Once there we want to improve on our rankings no matter what place we go in at.”

She also indicated she wants the team to do well in the league, so they can host the zone playoffs.

“That’s a benefit being back in the league. We want to have home court advantage in the playoffs.”

They have a 3-1 record in league play after a 69-35 win over Lacombe.

Ponto had 14 points with Klootwyk and Delemont adding 12 each and Blake 10. Kirstin Ramsay had eight points and Maddy Brown seven for the Rams.

• In JV boy’s action Wednesday, Hunting Hills dropped a 65-61 decision to the Lacombe Rams, who got 36 points from Sadair Nobel and 10 from Mitch Vanson.

Mitch Morrison had 12 points and MacKenzie Wright and Evan Billan 10 points each for the Lightning,

Then Lightning will host their annual tournament today and Saturday.

In other JV play, Notre Dame split a twin bill with Camrose, winning the boys’ contest 51-41 and losing the girls’ game 44-31.

Maurice Evangelista had 10 points for the Notre Dame boys.

Courtney Dach led the Notre Dame girls with seven points while Bobbi Bessey pulled down 11 rebounds.

drode@bprda.wpengine.com