Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

Power-packed field ready to play for provincial glory

  • Print

On Monday night, someone is going to win the provincial AAA varsity girls’ basketball championship. Their celebration will be hard-pressed to top the jubilation shown by the Sisler Spartans on Saturday.

The Spartans scratched and clawed all afternoon in their quarter-final matchup with the Vincent Massey Trojans before finally asserting themselves in the latter stages of the fourth quarter.

Sisler, the fifth seed, squeaked out a 45-42 win over the fourth-seeded Trojans in a game in which no basket was conceded without a fight.

"It feels amazing," said Spartans captain Pamela Zaldarriaga, a Grade 12 forward. "We’re a small team, and no one expected us to be here. It’s a big step for us to get to the final four. Last year we lost in the quarter-finals, so it’s big for us to go one step further."

Sisler will face top-seeded, and undefeated, Oak Park in Thursday’s first semifinal at 6 p.m. at Investors Group Athletic Centre. The Raiders beat Garden City 76-64 to advance.

Sisler coach Mike Tan said Saturday’s effort was typical for his group — a workmanlike effort that may have been short on style points.

"We’re a hard-working group," said Tan, who isn’t shy with his criticism from the sideline. "They’ve busted their butts for me all year. They’re absorbing what I’m saying, even though sometimes it’s a little bit of tough love. They know I want them to succeed."

The Spartans know they’ll need a near-perfect game to upset the Raiders on Thursday.

"We can’t be scared," Zaldarriaga said. "We have to play our game. It’s going to be tough, but we’ll give them a challenge."

Tan said the Raiders present an enormous problem for opponents because instead of having two or three weapons that need to be stopped, they have five or six.

In the second semifinal, the No. 2 seed, defending champion Glenlawn will take on third-seeded Miles Macdonell at 8 p.m.

The Lions were 68-46 winners over Fort Richmond, while the Buckeyes pulled away late to defeat Westwood 80-66.

Miles Mac coach Karl Schroeder has been working with his current group of Grade 11 players, which includes his daughter Julia, since many of them were 10 years old.

"They’re like an extension of my family," he said. "This group has been together for a very long time, and we have three really special Grade 12s who provide the missing links of leadership."

The Buckeyes have been near the top of the provincial rankings all season long, and expected to challenge for a championship.

"The girls have a real commitment to each other," Schroeder said. "They have a lot of talent, but they’re also willing to work. They have a wonderful work ethic."

Co-coach Erin Drazic said the focus against the Lions wouldn’t be a secret: the Buckeyes will need to figure out how to slow down Emily Potter, Glenlawn’s dominant inside player.

"Our focus will be defence and rebounding," Drazic said. "If we do that, the offence usually takes care of itself."

The semifinal winners will play for the provincial title on Monday at 6 p.m., followed by the boys’ final at 8 p.m.

avi.saper@canstarnews.com

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