Knowing that the final day of school before the Christmas break is a bit of a writeoff, athletic directors from Porter Creek and FH Collins secondary schools decided to give students a pair of exhibition basketball games Friday at Porter Creek Secondary.
Giving both schools something to cheer, the Porter Creek Rams won the boys’ game while the FH Collins Warriors won the girls’.
In the closer of the two contests, the Rams boys’ team squeaked out a 68-65 win over the Warriors.
“Our Grade 12s are led by Cameron Weeks, Robin Smith, Theron Richards, Robbie Borud, so we have four strong guys – we have a fifth, but he got hurt,” said Rams head coach Logan Wedge. “We have height too; we have five or six guys from Grade 11 over six feet.
“So we’re deep this year, but we’re not too heavy.”
As close as the score was in the end, the Rams looked to be running away with the game, going up 34-24 by the end of the first half. However, five baskets from Warriors Tanner Coyne and the first of two three pointers from Riley Simpson-Fowler put FH Collins up 39-38 by mid-third.
“We started playing like we’re capable of playing,” said Warriors head coach Jamie Shaw. “So we allowed our older guys to show our younger guys what style we want to play and I think they did a good job, midway through the third quarter, of setting the tone.”
“They put a little bit of a trap, a little of a press, and our didn’t react well to it,” said Wedge. “I wanted them to play through it – I didn’t want to call a timeout. I wanted to see how they would react.
“They got in trouble they fought their way through it.”
Down 51-47 early in the fourth quarter, the Rams got their heads back above water with a pair of baskets from Brady Bonnycastle, who led the team with 24 points, and a successful free-throw from Peter Hansen. The Rams then held the lead until the end.
“I think our guys had good pressure, we did a few things well offensively, we just didn’t finish well,” said Shaw. “If we finished like we are supposed to, we’d win that game easily.”
Leading the Warriors were Riley Simpson-Fowler and Tanner Coyne, each with 21 points.
In the girls’ game the Warriors rode a big first quarter into the winners’ circle with a 56-40 win over the Rams.
With Dahria Beatty scoring 10 points in the opening quarter, the Warriors jumped out to a 16-2 lead to start off the game.
“I give credit to FH, those girls have been playing together forever, they play basketball all year long, so their skill level is above what ours is,” said Rams head coach Trevor Hale. “They were playing like a team right from the first minute. We’re still building.”
If a comeback was in the cards for the Rams, it would have been during the second half. Already missing point guard Jennifer Curtis, who was away competing in biathlon, Warrior high scorers Nesha Wright and Beatty, who led the team with 16 points, were pulled because of foul trouble.
“Everyone who is new thing year finished the game, the last three minutes, and they picked up everything they were supposed to learn,” said Warriors head coach Ann Jirousek. “They were able to maintain the lead and score a few baskets.”
Also scoring for the Warriors were Kendra Murray with 10 points and Markie Bailie with nine. Jenna Blanchette led the charge for the Rams with 16 points.
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org