Rams, Warriors split Friday’s Super Hoops

The holidays are over, but it's still time for sharing. Playing in their first Super Hoops match-up since before the holiday break, the Porter Creek Rams and the FH Collins Warriors each took home a win as their senior boys...

The holidays are over, but it’s still time for sharing.

Playing in their first Super Hoops match-up since before the holiday break, the Porter Creek Rams and the FH Collins Warriors each took home a win as their senior boys and girls teams clashed Friday evening at Porter Creek Secondary.

Coming from behind in a tight contest, the Rams girls team eked out a 71-66 win. In the boys game, the Warriors came out strong and held a lead to the final buzzer for a commanding 79-58 victory.

The previous night the Rams teams picked up wins against the Vanier Crusaders at Porter Creek. The boys defeated the Crusaders 74-60 and in the girls’ game the Rams came out on top with the score 48-35.

Rams take control in second quarter

Coming into the second down 23-9, the Rams managed to pick things up and take the lead with just 18 seconds left in the quarter when Devon Hanson pushed back her own rebound to make it 34-33.

“Our girls are learning the press and I think that’s what saved us,” said Rams coach Stephen Mooney. “I told the girls coming in that defence is going to win this game and it did.”

The Rams’ Kayla Wilks was a big reason for the change in the game’s direction, making numerous steals and thereby causing the Warriors to experience more turnovers than a whitewater kayaker.

“FHC has beat us every time, so I wanted to turn it around and step it up,” said Wilks, who was named the player of the game. “I’ve always known how to set the press and that’s what I do.

“I’ve been playing basketball for a long time, so I know exactly when to take the ball.”

“Kayla works really well up at the front and she has quick hands,” said Mooney. “She plays her hands low so she gets a lot of steals that way.”

Despite missing their two top scorers in the fourth, the Warriors pulled up from 59-45 to within two at 65-63 on a jumper by Tannel Robertson.

“My usual high scorers had less than eight points each,” said Warriors coach Ann Jirousek. “They were fouled out within the third quarter because they were playing selfishly and not looking to help each other out. The players that were playing well were the ones playing a team game.

“Michelle McKay, my captain, scored 26 points and only had one foul. She distributes the ball well, she was looking for her teammates, she was leading on the court, she stayed calm.”

McKay was followed by Andrea Abbott with eight points and Nesha Write with seven for the Warriors.

Top scorers for the Rams were Hanson with 20, Aliye Tuzlak with 12 and Wilks with 12.

In their first encounter of the season in mid-December, the game went the other way with the Rams losing 83-80.

“We only had one practice prior to that,” said Mooney. “Turnovers killed us, I think we had 45, maybe 50 turnovers. And if you convert that to points it makes a big difference.”

Warriors put lead in stranglehold

“I think we got a little lazy, actually,” said Warrior Tony Nguyen, who shoveled 39 points onto the board. “We stopped rebounding, stopped boxing-out and when you stop doing those little things, any team can catch up.

“It’s all about the little things.”

More than doubling the Warriors’ shots on net (21-10), the Rams managed to sink enough to shrink a 32-22 half-time score down to 46-44.

Shortly after Logan Boehmer sunk a three-pointer from the top of the arc to move the Rams within seven, Jamie Milligan continued to close the gap with a steal and jumper from inside the key to make it 46-43. A free-throw by Zack Young brought the Rams to within one.

“There’s always ebbs and flows in a game,” said Warriors coach Jeff Cressman. “(The Rams) made a big push there and I called a timeout and said, this is what we’ve got to do, and they answered the call.

“The big thing in the fourth quarter is, when we got the ball we swung the ball around and went for lay-ups … that usually brings your shooting percentage up.”

“Our pressure was more effective last night,” said Rams coach Logan Wedge. “Some of our guys were out of position (tonight); they were supposed to be at point ‘A’ and they were at point ‘B.’

“Tony’s too good. If you leave him too much room, he’s going to pick you apart.”

Saving his best for last, Nguyen put 15 points worth through the mesh in the final quarter.

“The fourth quarter is time to step up,S I guess,” said Nguyen. “I really wanted to win that game so I decided to play all out.”

Riley Tobin led the charge for the Rams with 15 points. Boehmer took home nine.

“Since our first game, we’ve gotten way better,” said Wedge. “But we’ve still got a long way to go.”

Contact Tom Patrick

at tomp@yukon-news.com