Basketball, Profiled - Written by Kram Staff on Wednesday, February 6, 2013 17:18 - 0 Comments
Ghosts Looking to Improve on Last Year’s Disappointing Final
The Road to Redemption
Everything was going as planned for the Bishop Grandin Ghosts in last year’s Division 1 Finals as they sat comfortably with a 16-point lead against the seemingly outmatched Notre Dame Pride.
The Ghosts had just overcome the odds and rallied back from a 12-point deficit in their semifinal matchup and had momentum on their side against a team in Notre Dame that most had written off before the first whistle.
It appeared as though they were putting the final touches on a storybook season.
Until something went drastically wrong.
The team with arguably the most talent, the most experience and the most to lose, lost to a team who simply outworked them.
But the 2013 Ghosts have learned from last year’s shortcomings. Head coach Mike Henry’s current lineup is headlined by a core group of returning players who are determined to right last year’s wrong.
“It was a tough game. I think they learned a lot by losing in the final – by getting there and knowing how close they got and how hard it is to get there,” Henry said of his veteran players. “We’re working very hard this year to not repeat that.”
As midseason approaches, the Ghosts have steamrolled every team they’ve faced (including Notre Dame) and currently sit with the No.1 ranking in all of Alberta.
“We’ve got a big target on our backs,” Henry said. “I think the pressure of that weighs into practice everyday.”
And at practice is where the difference from last year’s team is most apparent.
The Ghosts are practicing with a renewed sense of determination this season and each player is holding the next accountable to Henry’s high standard. Returning player George Jackson remembers the sting of last year’s upset and has been the guy who coach Henry says is stepping up this most.
“George is a hard worker. He’s very smart and he picks the level of game up at practice,” Henry said. “He’s doing everything in his power to make sure that everyone’s on the same page.”
Jackson added, “This year I feel like we’re meshing a little bit better together. We’ve got a good group of guys who really want to win this year and we’re focused.”
Jackson has embraced his newfound role this season as both a top scorer and as a team leader – something one could argue they were lacking during last season’s campaign.
“I feel like I took pieces from our captain last year so I feel like I’m leading this group of guys a little bit better than I was last year,” Jackson said. “I feel like we have a great team. We have a great matchup standpoint for basketball because one minute we can go big and one minute we can go small and still compete with the best teams out there. “