Game of the Week - Written by Kram Staff on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 0:55 - 1 Comment
Lasers Survive 4th Quarter Rally by Griffins
The Father Lacombe Lasers senior boys basketball team learned a valuable lesson on Tuesday night when they paid a visit to Ernest Manning High School to square off against the Griffins.
The lesson is a common one, preached by pretty much every basketball coach at every level – play the game hard from tip-off to final buzzer, because taking a couple of minutes off at the end of a game can come back and haunt you.
After leading by as many as 20 points in the fourth quarter, the Lasers fought off a furious rally by the Griffins, escaping the game with a 89-80 victory to improve their record to 2-1 on the season.
In the end, no harm done, and Lasers’ head Ian Couture has a real-time example to point to next time he preaches about slacking off when a victory seems certain.
“We’re learning from every game,” said Couture. “We have five grade-12s back that won the division two championship last year and we have a good core group of grade-11 kids. They’re learning to play with each other every game. We’ll learn from this game, play the last two minutes and make sure we play 40 minutes.”
Majwang Mager scored 24 points to lead the Lasers and Jonah Weyessa chipped in with a solid 20 points.
Lee Holmgren scored 24 points to pace the Griffins’ attack.
After slugging it out on the scoreboard for the first quarter and a half the Lasers went on a timely run in the latter stages of the second quarter, stretching a 28-24 lead to a 42-32 advantage within four minutes of play heading into the locker room for the halftime break.
By the time the third quarter was over they held a commanding 66-44 lead and seemed to be cruising to an easy victory.
But a furious late fourth quarter rally by Griffins almost took it all away. After struggling to consistently find their range for the majority of the game, suddenly they couldn’t miss. Three-pointers fell from everywhere and their big man Matthew Ellis took over the post game, quickly cleaning up on any shots that missed.
Ellis, a grade-11 post player, was a thorn in the Lasers’ side for most of the night thanks to an array of nifty post moves powerful drives to the basket.
“He’s very polished, fundamentally sound, he can handle the ball, shoot and he can throw it down too,” said Couture about Ellis’ game. “He’s fun to watch.”
In the end, the Lasers can go into the Christmas break knowing they’re on the right path for when things pick up again in early January.
The let-down in the final few minutes of Tuesday night’s game can’t take away from an otherwise wonderfully played game that showcased their team speed and athleticism that’s sure to give several teams a hard time.
“I thought it was a great game,” said Couture. “I thought Manning is a well-coached team and they have one of the best bigs i the city, but I thought we played very good team defence and we were running the ball. We just need to finish that last two minutes and play four quarters.”
“We’re still trying to find each other as a team but I thought overall this was our best team performance.”
The Lasers’ record improved to 2-1 while the Griffins fell to 1-2.
Other scores from Tuesday night’s action on the hard court.
Jr Boys Basketball
Bishop O’Byrne 77 Crescent Heights 48
Dr. E.P. Scarlett 91 Centennial 67
Ernest Manning 68 Father Lacombe 56
Lester B. Pearson 42 Bowness 34
Bishop McNally 71 Notre Dame 69
Sir Winston Churchill 75 William Aberhart 69
St. Mary’s 77 Central Memorial 43
St. Francis 57 Western Canada 50
St. Gabriel 67 John G. Diefenbaker 56
Jr Girls Basketball
William Aberhart 59 Bishop Grandin 53
Centennial 52 St. Francis 45
St. Mary’s 59 Central Memorial 17
Henry Wise Wood 72 John G. Diefenbaker 40
Sr Boys Basketball
Bishop O’Byrne 69 Crescent Heights 36
Centennial 76 Dr. E.P. Scarlett 48
Father Lacombe 89 Ernest Manning 80
Bishop Grandin 104 Henry Wise Wood 47
Lester B. Pearson 93 Bowness 58
Notre Dame 100 Bishop McNally 98
Sir Winston Churchill 105 William Aberhart 51
St. Mary’s 90 Central Memorial 50
St. Francis 62 Western Canada 50
St. Gabriel 67 John G. Diefenbaker 62
Sr Girls Basketball
William Aberhart 70 Bishop Grandin 47
Bishop O’Byrne 96 Notre Dame 37
Centennial 58 St. Francis 55
Henry Wise Wood 58 John G. Diefenbaker 52