Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

Gophers upset by rival Spartans

Top-ranked Garden City falls to No. 8 Sisler at provincials

  • Print
Garden City Fighting Gophers guard Byron Oduca in action against the Sisler Spartans during the quarterfinals of the AAAA Boys Basketball Provincials on Sat., March 15.

PHOTO BY JORDAN THOMPSON Enlarge Image

Garden City Fighting Gophers guard Byron Oduca in action against the Sisler Spartans during the quarterfinals of the AAAA Boys Basketball Provincials on Sat., March 15. Photo Store

There will be no three-peat for the Garden City Fighting Gophers varsity boys basketball team.

Seeded No. 1 in the province, the back-to-back provincial champs fell 84-68 to the eighth-seeded Sisler Spartans in the quarterfinals of the Milk Provincial "AAAA" Basketball Championships on Sat., March 15 at Garden City Collegiate.

During an interview with The Times prior to the loss, Garden City coach Phil Penner said the team would be in tough, despite being number one going into the game.

"This year is probably as wide open as I’ve seen it in my 17 years," Penner said. "There’s not a dominant team. There are really 11 teams out of the 12 that could knock people off. It’s the most parity I’ve seen."

Despite the disappointing end to the season, Penner had nothing but good things to say about the squad, which included five Grade 12 players from last year’s championship team.

"I think we have a really good mix of players. I think we play really well as a team," Penner said. "I think defensively we do a good job. We’re a little undersized. We’re probably the smallest team in the province, so rebounding is always an issue for us, but we’ve got some smart players that play as a team, and the guys work really hard."

Penner said he was particularly impressed with Grade 12 players Jared Kashton, Arel Cansino and Jowel Shuffler this season, but noted senior Byron Oduca shone in particular. The Grade 12 guard was a bench player last season, but earned a starter role in 2013-2014.

"He’s really quick and defends very well," Penner said. "Offensively, he can pretty much do it all. He can shoot the three, has a great midrange game, and he can take it all the way to hole and finish even though he’s not that big. He’s just really crafty. He’s been our go-to guy for most of the year."

Oduca, who said he stands 5-10 or "5-11 on a good day", said his greatest strength is driving to the net.

"I think I’m a scorer. I think my main role is to slash (drive to the net), and I also help get my other teammates open," Oduca said.

"I think I use my speed and as a team we really use our speed so I think I work perfectly with my team."

Oduca said Penner is a good coach who had the Fighting Gophers physically and mentally prepared for every game this season, with the team practicing three plus hours a day.

"We don’t give up, even in the harder games. What we do best is we keep going at it and have that fighting spirit," Oduca said.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Readers' Choice Awards

Best Of Winnipeg Readers Survey

See the results of the 2014 Canstar Community News Best of Winnipeg Readers' Survey.

View Results

This Just In Twitter bird

Poll

The forecast says we're going to get a blast of warm weather, but we all know what's coming. Are you ready?

View Results