Mustangs drop Zones final to Foothills Comp
The George McDougall girls’ basketball team’s season ended a week earlier than planned.
The Foothills Composite Falcons beat the Mustangs 75-49 in the South Central Zones 4A title game in Okotoks on March 10. Foothills moved on to the provincials in Cardston and Raymond, while McDougall is already starting to think about next year.
“They’re sad,” said Mustangs’ head coach Joe McLaughlin. “But we had a really good season and that was the message I tried to tell them: remember the accomplishments we had this year.”
George Mac, which had a 8W-2L regular season record, but lost in the Rocky View Sports Association’s divisional final to the Cochrane Cobras, had a 14-game win streak at one point in the year, which included three consecutive tournament wins.
But McLaughlin believes the team may have peaked too early. Injury troubles began at divisionals and continued in the Zones final.
“Our two post players were out in the second half against Foothills,” he said. “And that team is too good and took advantage of that fact. They rotate 10 players without losing anything and have five girls who are about six feet or taller – and athletic.”
Out of George Mac’s 12-girl roster, only two players were in Grade 12 this year: Kylie Lebedeff and Tori Zabel. McLaughlin said those two have been recruited by ‘four or five different colleges apiece’ but haven’t decided on where they will play post-secondary basketball yet.
That means the team will have 11 players returning for next season, as Grade 11 Shae Lewis will also be back after missing this entire year with a knee injury.
“It’s early and this loss is still fresh, but we are shaping up well for next season,” McLaughlin said.
The Mustangs opened Zones with a 56-50 loss to Foothills at George Mac on March 6, before defeating Chestermere 68-54, March 8, to set up the rematch.