Colts ready to run in Weyburn
The Swift Current Comp. Colts senior boys basketball team opened their season with a dominant exhibition win over the visiting Herbert Laurels last week.
The game was never in doubt as the Colts led from wire-to-wire in a 96-34 victory. Grade 12 guard Matt Bissonnette knocked down a trio of three-pointers in the opening quarter and led the team in scoring with 29 points.
Grade 11 guard Cyril Amoyen finished with 19 points and rookie guard Nathan Braun added 15 points.
"This exhibition game gave both teams an opportunity to get some game time before weekend tournaments and SWAC begin," said Colts' coach Andrew Judge.
"Herbert's forwards played aggressively, and their guards pushed the pace up the floor well. Our boys took an early lead in the game, with Matt Bissonnette making three 3pointers in the first quarter, and Kristian Lubi making some key rebounds," Judge noted.
The Colts fast-breaked and pressed their way to a 23-4 first-quarter lead and led 45-10 at halftime.
The Colts roster is comprised of four grade 12's, seven grade 11's, and one grade 10 under Judge and Scott Mayall.
"Many of our new players, including Mitch Braun and Nathan Braun, brought intensity and a great deal to the second half in terms of baskets and steals. Tanner Williams, Dylan Mortensen, and Jon Chisholm made great contributions on defense and underneath the basket. Our defensive pressure and fast break secured an early lead in the game, but we have plenty to improve on this season," said Judge.
The Colts will be heading out on the road for the Weyburn Christmas Classic this weekend, their only tournament before the holiday break.
"Before our tournament with Weyburn we are looking to develop a strong balance of three-point shooting, and inside shooting. Last season Weyburn took control of the key defensively, forcing us to the outside a great deal. We are hoping to break that down with faster and smarter ball movement," explained Judge.
Both the Colts and Ardens basketball teams have been bumped up from 4A to 5A this season as they compete with the top basketball programs in Saskatchewan in the provincial playoffs.
"The jump to 5A doesn't change much in terms of strategy. Our focus has been, and will continue to be our use of speed and ball sense. In terms of our roster, the change simply reminds us of the ongoing challenge of size. We have plenty of talented guards - Marcus Mayall, Cyril Amoyen, and Nathan Braun to name a few," said Judge.
The Colts' roster boasts six players 6'2'' or taller.
"The benefit this season has been the return of strong forwards - like Tanner Williams and Matt Braun – and plenty of new ones – like Dylan Mortensen and Jon Chisholm," said Judge.
"One thing that Scott [ Mayall] stressed at our tryouts, and I will echo his statement, is that we need players who have more than one skill set or talent. We need, and have found players that can pass well, shoot confidently, rebound aggressively, and play boldly. Scott and I are both excited for the challenge of 5A this season," Judge added.
The Colts will next be at home on Jan. 16-17 for one of two home tournaments this season. They will also travel for tournament action in Moose Jaw, Yorkton, Prince Albert, and North Battleford before the 5A provincial playoffs begin in March.