Colts nearly upset top seed to end season
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.”
Peacock’s Eric Forbes takes a hard foul from Swift Current’s Matthew Bissonette in 4A boys regional basketball action Saturday.