Young Ardens hoping for improved defensive play at home
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.