Colts nearly up­set top seed to end sea­son

The Southwest Booster - - SPORTS - STEVEN MAH SOUTH­WEST BOOSTER

The Swift Cur­rent Comp. Colts nearly up­set the top ranked 4A team in the prov­ince to earn a trip to Hoopla. They were un­able to hold onto a half­time lead in the 4A Boys Re­gional fi­nal in an 81-60 loss to the Moose Jaw AE Pea­cock Toil­ers to see their sea­son end just one win short of a Hoopla ap­pear­ance.

“Just be­fore the start of the game, both Scott [May­all] and I ad­dressed the need to play with heart against this first place team, and that for 40 min­utes the boys would have to put it all out on the court,” ex­plained coach Andrew Judge. “Well, that is ex­actly what they did. The un­be­liev­able de­fen­sive ef­fort by all play­ers, es­pe­cially our post play­ers, al­lowed us to pull ahead by two points at the end of the first half. Sev­eral cru­cial steals by Cyril Amoyen and Mar­cus May­all set an ag­gres­sive tone for the en­tire game. Ev­ery sec­ond of the first half was filled with in­ten­sity, as our Se­nior Colts were shock­ing Toil­ers with their speed, ef­fort, strength, and dura­bil­ity.”

The host Toil­ers proved in the sec­ond half why they were the top ranked team in the prov­ince said Judge.

“Dur­ing the third quar­ter, the Toil­ers put up sev­eral free throws and man­aged sev­eral takes to the bas­ket that proved suc­cess­ful, pulling ahead by ten points at the end of the third quar­ter. Charged with de­ter­mi­na­tion and a need to suc­ceed, our boys took the court and man­aged, yet again, to limit Toiler three-shoot­ing, and con­tin­ued to bat­tle un­der the boards for re­bounds. How­ever, the Toil­ers proved why they are the num­ber one 4A team in the prov­ince with a strong fin­ish, as, by the end of the fourth quar­ter, they were putting up more shots and cut­ting well to the bas­ket. Over­all, all of our play­ers, rook­ies and vet­er­ans, played with ev­ery­thing they had and put it all on the court. Scott and I couldn’t be hap­pier with their per­for­mance.”

The Colts had ad­vanced to the Re­gional fi­nal with a 72-54 win over Meadow Lake on Fri­day evening. Judge said his team’s firstquar­ter strug­gles con­tin­ued as Meadow Lake set the pace early in the con­test.

The Colts tight­ened up their de­fense and re­bounded well to emerge from the open­ing quar­ter with a five-point lead.

“The re­bound­ing dom­i­nance of Jordan Bloom, Lo­gan Tis­dale, and Brent Ker­slake en­sured a strong lead by the end of the third quar­ter, and with nearly 20 free throws made, we pulled ahead by the end. The strong of­fen­sive play by Mar­cus May­all, Jordan Braun, and Cyril Amoyen al­lowed for a more dom­i­nant lead in the fourth quar­ter,” said Judge.

The Colts fin­ished the sea­son with a 15-14 record. “This was a great sea­son for me and for our boys. While many would mark suc­cess by vic­tory alone, I de­ter­mine it by ef­fort, sac­ri­fice, team­work, and re­solve,” said Judge.

It was his first sea­son as head coach of the Colts.

“For me, this was a sea­son of learn­ing. Pre­par­ing for prac­tices, con­sid­er­ing de­fen­sive and of­fen­sive strate­gies, and de­vel­op­ing learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for in­di­vid­ual play­ers all con­trib­uted to a holis­tic learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence as a coach. I was for­tu­nate to have Scott, a vet­eran and very ex­pe­ri­enced coach, sup­port me this sea­son as a co-coach. Scott’s ex­pe­ri­ence with our play­ers, his many years of ex­pe­ri­ence as a player and coach, and his un­der­stand­ing of the game, al­lowed me to take a great deal away from this sea­son.”

He felt the team adapted well to a new coach­ing regime.

“For sev­eral of our play­ers, this was not their first sea­son on the Se­nior Colts Bas­ket­ball team, but it was their first sea­son with me as coach. Change can be dif­fi­cult, but as the sea­son went on and our com­mu­ni­ca­tion as a team im­proved, and they rec­og­nized the com­mon goals of suc­cess and vic­tory. Our guards de­vel­oped a clearer un­der­stand­ing of team goals on of­fense, and many of our for­wards ex­pe­ri­enced in­creas­ing suc­cess with re­bound­ing and de­fen­sive play in the paint. Over­all, I am very proud of our Se­nior Colts, and very happy with the sea­son.”

The Colts will lose five play­ers this sea­son with Jordan Bloom, Brent Ker­slake, Jordan Braun, Joshua Braun, and Lo­gan Tis­dale all grad­u­at­ing.

Jordan Braun was one of the team’s leading scor­ers this sea­son.

“Early this year, sev­eral weeks be­fore the sea­son started, I was told by Andrew Her­rick, one of our phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion teach­ers and coaches, that Jordan was hon­ing his shoot­ing skills in the early morn­ings. Well, it was no sur­prise that Jordan was one of our many dom­i­nant shoot­ers this sea­son. In ad­di­tion, his will­ing­ness to sac­ri­fice and his work ethic con­trib­uted to our many hard fought vic­to­ries this sea­son.”

Bloom is a 6’4’’ for­ward who will leave a hole in­side. “Jordan Bloom was ter­rific to work with this sea­son. His enthusiasm and ded­i­ca­tion from the first day ex­ceeded my ex­pec­ta­tions. His ex­pe­ri­ence as a for­ward al­lowed him to dom­i­nate un­der the boards early in the sea­son, and, de­spite in­juries, his close to the sea­son was ex­cep­tional. Jordan looks to con­tinue play­ing bas­ket­ball at col­lege next year, and I am sure he will find his place as a leader and strong for­ward.”

“Brent Ker­slake was one of our hard­est work­ing play­ers this sea­son. His con­sis­tency and sac­ri­fice on the court al­lowed him to be our most re­li­able player de­fen­sively, while his three point shoot­ing con­trib­uted to a strong perime­ter of­fense through­out the sea­son.”

6’2’’ for­ward Joshua Braun will also grad­u­ate. “Joshua Braun was one of our most im­proved play­ers this sea­son.

With his con­stant will­ing­ness to learn, and his re­lent­less ef­fort, de­spite overwhelmi­ng in­jury, Josh man­aged to be among our top re­bound­ers and most con­sis­tent free throw shoot­ers this sea­son. In ad­di­tion, his sense of sac­ri­fice and team­work al­lowed our fi­nal game against Pea­cock to re­main com­pet­i­tive.”

Rookie for­ward Lo­gan Tis­dale also made an im­pact this sea­son. “Lo­gan Tis­dale brought a great deal to our team this sea­son. De­spite his size, his in­ten­sity and strength made him one of our most ef­fec­tive and re­li­able for­wards this sea­son. His pas­sion and drive as an ath­lete al­lowed him to dom­i­nate un­der the boards and con­trol the key de­fen­sively.”

The Colts will be los­ing a lot of their size but they will re­turn plenty of scor­ing from their young guards.

“We are very op­ti­mistic for next sea­son, as Mar­cus May­all and Cyril Amoyen will be re­turn­ing as point guards, and Matt Bis­son­nette, a player who proved him­self to be a de­fen­sive force in the sec­ond half of the sea­son, will be re­turn­ing as a shoot­ing guard. In ad­di­tion, Tan­ner Wil­liams and Matt Braun are look­ing for­ward to re­turn­ing as sea­soned for­wards start­ing in De­cem­ber 2014,” said Judge.

Judge also hopes to have a strong group of in­com­ing play­ers as well.

“Many of our Ju­nior Colts will also be mov­ing up next year, sev­eral of whom demon­strated a great deal of prom­ise. With our suc­cesses and fail­ures this sea­son came a great deal of learn­ing. If we con­tinue to learn and find con­sis­tency as a team, our po­ten­tial is lim­it­less – our Re­gional Fi­nal game against A.E. Pea­cock proved this.”

TC Me­dia photo

Pea­cock’s Eric Forbes takes a hard foul from Swift Cur­rent’s Matthew Bis­sonette in 4A boys re­gional bas­ket­ball ac­tion Satur­day.

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