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Hoops hype is high as high school basketball sets sights on playoffs

It's a full court press for high school basketball teams as juniors will be part of District championships while senior teams have a few weeks before their conferences begin with hopeful berths won to regionals and Hoopla.

UNITY - High school teams from Kerrobert, Unity and Wilkie are looking to either repeat or improve upon their 2022 season with upcoming Sask. High School Athletics Association and Battle West District championship events.

For junior divisions, district championships are as far as teams go. Each of these are a four-team bracket tournament with winners advancing to the final, and the losers playing for bronze. Unity junior boys’ basketball will compete in Hafford Feb. 11, while the junior girls will compete for their chance to advance in Kerrobert.

UCHS senior boys’ basketball earned back-to-back silver medals at Hoopla in 2022, as well as earning the SHSAA sportsmanship award in May of 2022. The Warriors will compete at conference playoffs in Biggar March 11, with two teams advancing to regional playdowns and the hopes of earning a third consecutive Hoopla berth March 23-25.

UCHS senior girls’ conference playoffs will be on home court in Unity March 10-11, with seven teams competing to be one of the four teams that advance to regionals that will take place the following weekend. SHSAA provincial basketball weekend is set for March 23-25.

UCHS says their senior teams have been busy this season with tournaments and exhibition games during the week.

At McLurg, coach Mark Myszczyszyn says of their basketball season, “We lost six strong Grade 12s from that 2A silver medalist team but our next crew has stepped up that includes seven Grade 10s and we may even be stronger this year.”

Myszczyszyn says he has kept 16 girls on the roster with everyone getting lots of playing opportunity, developing the team nicely. McLurg entered and won six tournaments in their basketball season. He was also happy with the team’s progress when playing cross-highway rivals, Unity, at the beginning of January winning a close game.

The McLurg senior girls will complete in Lake Lenore Feb. 10 weekend and finish their season at Unity’s tournament after that. They are set to compete at LCBI for conference playoffs with Myszczyszyn saying, “We should be ranked pretty high as we haven’t lost to any 2A teams, as well as beaten a few 3A, 4 and 5A teams in our season.”

“We attended North Battleford Comprehensive High School on the weekend and went 3 and 0. We beat NBCHS first, Estevan next and then Lloyd Comp in our third game. No one expected our little 2A school to compete as well as we did against the 5A schools. I am very proud of how driven our girls are to succeed,” adds Myszczyszyn

The McLurg junior girls are ranked third and will be competing for a spot in Kerrobert Feb. 11 to earn a spot in Battle West District championships.

McLurg Principal, Greg Mamer, says, “Junior boys were not able to enter districts because we did not go into the league this year. There was a second ‘open’ championship for boys that we entered – but no one else did.”

2022 had the McLurg senior girls’ basketball team in their first-ever provincial gold medal game, coming home with a silver medal for their efforts.

Kerrobert Composite School says their basketball teams are having great seasons and have high expectations for continued success and seedings going into playoffs.

Coach Bev Kraft says, “The junior boys’ team consists of 13 dedicated players. We have had an excellent season so far, with nine league wins out of 10 league games played, falling short only by six points in the loss. We also just attended the Biggar tournament today, coming out undefeated over Biggar and Eatonia. We have clinched second place in the Battle West District playoffs and will be heading to Hafford to take part in the championship side of those districts.”

Kraft also coaches the Kerrobert Composite School senior boys’ team. The senior girls are also looking to improve on their season that has seen its own success stories already.

Senior high basketball teams know once school resumes after February break it will be a full court press into playoff season.

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