Young Ar­dens hop­ing for im­proved de­fen­sive play at home

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The Swift Cur­rent Comp. Se­nior Ar­dens bas­ket­ball team will host the sec­ond of three tour­na­ments on their home court this sea­son on Fri­day and Satur­day.

A young Ar­dens team has jumped out to a 12-4 start to the sea­son, in­clud­ing a 6-1 record in sin­gle digit games. They were re­cently ranked fifth among 4A teams in Saskatchewan in the in­de­pen­dent rank­ings.

“Go­ing into the sea­son I knew we were go­ing to be young and that al­ways presents chal­lenges as it’s a big jump from the mid­dle school or ju­nior bas­ket­ball level to play­ing se­nior,” said head coach An­drew Her­rick. “I am re­ally ex­cited with where we are at this point in the sea­son as the re­sults have def­i­nitely come a lit­tle quicker than ex­pected. With a 12- 4 record the girls have been find­ing ways to win and I think much of the credit has to go to our vet­er­ans who have pro­vided great lead­er­ship and re­ally in­stilled a de­ter­mined, hard work­ing at­ti­tude on the prac­tice floor, which has ob­vi­ously car­ried over to our play in tour­na­ments.”

The Ar­dens are com­ing off a fifth-place fin­ish at a 16-team tour­na­ment in Moose Jaw where they lost their only game to un­de­feated Moose AE Pea­cock. Her­rick felt that loss demon­strated a need for im­prove­ment on the de­fen­sive end of the floor.

“The area we need to re­ally im­prove on in the sec­ond half of the sea­son is our team de­fense. We need to be more con­sis­tent and im­prove our com­mu­ni­ca­tion and ro­ta­tions. We have def­i­nitely come a long way since our first tour­na­ment in Este­van, and if we want to have a chance to com­pete with the top teams in the prov­ince we still have some work to do.”

The Ar­dens hosted their an­nual home tour­na­ment in De­cem­ber when they placed sec­ond out of eight teams, los­ing to Moose Jaw Cen­tral in the cham­pi­onship game. They will also host a SHSAA 4A Con­fer­ence tour­na­ment in late Fe­bru­ary to open the pro­vin­cial play­offs.

The Ar­dens will open this weekend’s tour­na­ment Fri­day at 6 p.m. against North Bat­tle­ford, the eighth ranked 4A team in the prov­ince.

They will take on In­dian Head Satur­day at 10 a.m. In­dian Head is the top ranked 3A team in Saskatchewan. They will con­clude the tour­na­ment Satur­day evening at 5:15 p.m. against Saskatoon’s Cen­ten­nial Charg­ers, the sev­enth ranked team out of Saskatoon.

“This weekend we have three qual­ity teams com­ing and we should have three re­ally com­pet­i­tive games. You never know what to ex­pect af­ter the girls have a week off for ex­ams but our goal this weekend is to pick up where we left off in the Moose Jaw tour­na­ment and con­tinue to im­prove the ex­e­cu­tion of our sys­tems at both ends of the floor,” ex­plained Her­rick.

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