On the heels of the Road to the Gold tournament held last weekend, in which the FH Collins Warriors were finalists in both the girls’ and boys’ divisions, the Warriors have already built off their early season success.
Playing on home court, both the senior Warriors teams downed the Porter Creek Rams, with the boys topping the Rams 87-72 and the girls 83-80 in the first Super Hoops game of the season.
One would likely judge the 15-point spread of boys’ score as small considering how the game began.
Like a thoroughbred tearing out of the gate, the Warriors quickly jumped out to an 18-2 lead in the first five minutes of play.
“They just came out and blitzed us,” said Rams coach Logan Wedge. “(We) were really nervous, but after that we played pretty well. We brought it back close, but we just could never close that gap.”
“At that point we were pretty confident we were going to win the game, so we kind of called it back a bit,” said Warriors coach Jeff Cressman. “If we pressed them we would have won by a whole bunch, and I don’t think anybody learns anything from that.”
With the Warriors’ offence mitigated, the Rams managed to end the first quarter down by only 26-21. However, the Warriors continued to build off that lead in each of the following quarters.
“We had a kid score 47 on us,” said Wedge, referring to a game against Walter Northway over the weekend in the Road to the Gold tournament. “Our defence is just porous — we’re not good defensively. We recognize that and us coaches will work on that for the next — I guess we have three weeks until our next game, so we have a nice break to fix that.”
Racking up 18 points in the first quarter alone, Tony Nguyen led the Warriors with 37. Teammates Adam Vickerman and Nathan Wallace did their part with 16 and 14 points.
With a total of five three-pointers and 21 points, Logan Bochmor led the charge for the Rams, followed by Zack Young with 12.
Big third quarter not
enough for Rams
The Warriors’ win comes as the team is still feeling the effects of the weekend, especially the double overtime that capped the girls’ final.
“We lost a lot of our big guns from the weekend,” said Warriors coach Ann Jirousek, pointing to injuries and vacations. “They’re all bruised up from that double overtime Saturday, so they were dead. I was getting phone calls all day saying, ‘I don’t know if I can make it.’ We ended up with six, and with three or four practices they just don’t have the lungs and legs under them yet. That’ll come.”
Player numbers quickly became more of an issue as the Warriors suddenly found themselves in danger of losing more with three of the six players taking four fouls in the first half alone. Five fouls and a player is dismissed from the game.
“So I lost one, Claire Abbott, with five,” said Jirousek. “But they ended up hanging on for a long time with four fouls. I was expecting what I saw from Porter Creek, they’re a little scrappier and they throw their bodies around.”
The Rams had their best success in the third, outscoring the Warriors 15-7 and ending the quarter down by just 49-48. The strong third came after coach Mark Hureau used the halftime break to reorganize his team’s offence.
“This is their sixth game of the season, but we’ve only had two practices for most of them — some of them only one,” said Hureau. “So they really didn’t know how to attack and we were just reminding them of what they are supposed to be doing. I’m not sure if that paid off or they just hustled more.”
The game’s high scorer was the Warriors Chantai Minet with a total of 40 points, followed by the dismissed Abbott with 28.
For the Rams Cat Lane put up 13 points while rebound fiend Krista Mooney scored 26.
“She was our best player at nationals this summer,” said Hureau of Mooney. “She knows she’s going to be fouled a lot — and actually she’s a pretty good free throw shooter.”
Senior boys and girls teams from both FH Collins and Porter Creek will be traveling to Delta Junction, Alaska, for a tournament in mid February and will be coming back the day before the Super Hoops semifinals.
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